The smoking ban in New York City, originally implemented between 2002 and 2003 (the Smoke Free Air Act) prohibited smoking in indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars, will now be extended to parks, beaches and Times Square. Given its low fines and self-enforcement strategies, it will be interesting to see if it has any effect. If anything, it continues to shift smoking social norms through a mix of shaming and politicking.
These policies, when enforced, work quite well. Using a quasi-experimental method, a study by Shelley et al (2008) from our systematic review, demonstrated that the Smoke Free Act of 2003 reduced smoking rates in a Chinese population living in New York; while additional efforts targeted at another Chinese population living in a different area of New York further reduced their smoking rates.
Shelley et al 2008. Effectiveness of tobacco control among Chinese Americans: A comparative analysis of
policy approaches versus community-based programs. Preventive Medicine, 47:530–536. (Abstract and PDF)