$6000 boete voor asbak in video-zaak

Een vriendelijk daad om een vertegenwoordiger een sigaret te laten uitdrukken in een asbak is een New Yorkse eigenaar van een video-zaak duur te staan gekomen.

Hem werden voor dit vergrijp (asbakken zijn niet officieel verboden in New York) $6000 aan boetes in rekening gebracht.

Zelfs tijdens de drooglegging in de vorige eeuw werden glazen in een bar nog steeds toegestaan. De huidige rookpolitie staat zelfs een asbak niet meer toe.

Tabaksextremisme, een nieuw woord voor de van Dale?


Brooklyn video-store owner Marty Arno holds the offending ashtray that was in violation of the smoking ban.
David S. Burns

Freeze, punk! Drop the ashtray!

A Brooklyn video-store owner is facing up to $6,000 in fines after a health inspector caught him with the city’s newest controlled substance: an ashtray.

“One (1) ashtray with cigarette butt, and ashes, was seen on the counter of the establishment,” inspectors M. Dundas and S. Holloway noted on the ticket that they handed to Marty Arno, owner of Brooklyn Heights Video, last month.

The inspectors also hit Arno with two other violations, one for not having “No Smoking” signs and another for having not posted his company’s official nonsmoking policy. The alleged violations carry maximum fines of $2,000 each.

“I’m a tiny video store – it’s just me and a girl who comes in part-time,” he said. “She knows smoking policy: We don’t smoke in the store – it’s bad for the videos.”

Arno said the illegal ashtray is a case of mistaken identity.

“What happened was that a customer came into the store with a cigarette and rather than make her go all the way back outside, I just let her snuff it out in the ashtray,” he said.

Health Department spokesman Andrew Tucker said that the city outlawed ashtrays so that “there is not an invitation to smoke in the establishment.”

Arno, whose video store is a favorite of film buffs, took offense at the criminalization of the humble ashtray – in this case, his souvenir from the classic 1984 B-movie, “The Rosebud Beach Hotel.”

“How can they take an inanimate object and make it illegal?” he railed. “During Prohibition, alcohol was illegal, but they didn’t make the shot glasses illegal. Does anyone even know that this is the law?”

Arno does now. Since receiving his initial summonses, the same inspectors have visited twice. Both times, Arno was in compliance.

“The guy was crawling under the counter looking for the damn ashtray,” Arno said. “I said, ‘Do you think I’m such a schmuck that I’d leave it out again?’ ”

Arno says he will fight the fines on the grounds that there is widespread confusion about the less- heralded parts of the city’s anti-smoking laws, which took effect this year.

Most of the attention has focused on bars and restaurants, so many businesses and mom-and- pop stores may share Arno’s confusion. But the summonses Arno received are right there in the fine print of the Smoke-Free Air Act.

For example, ashtrays “shall not be used or provided for use.” “No Smoking” signs must be “conspicuously posted so that they are clearly visible.” And “every employer shall establish and/or update a written smoking policy.”

Brooklyn Councilman David Yassky said he’ll urge the Health Department to better explain the law to owners of small businesses.

Bron: New York Post

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