New York smokers "clash" with Gov. Spitzer

by Gary Korb

I want to echo the sentiments of a recent article posted by Rich Perelman at titled, "New York CLASH fighting real prohibition:"

Led by founder, Audrey Silk, CLASH, which stands for Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, is looking for help in its fight against New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer's move to ban the sale of tobacco products not only during the upcoming New York State Fair, but on the Fairgrounds, as well. (FYI, CLASH is the smokers' rights group that sued the state and city of New York over the smoking bans in 2003.)

"Today it's New York – on the state's Fairgrounds, tomorrow it's the rest of the country as we've learned from smoking bans – legislation that every city/state wanted to emulate immediately after New York did it," said Ms. Silk. "We find lawmakers from all over trying to be beat each other out as next to do it! For the glory they think it buys them. It's stunning."

The article goes on to note that both cigar vendors and customers are at risk, and Ms. Silk is appealing to smokers not only in New York State, but from all over the country to "step up."

"The issue is not even a discussion about smoking, it's the denial of the SALE of cigars and other tobacco products!," added Ms. Silk. "It's a free commerce and a free will issue."

I strongly suggest you read the article in its entirety to learn more about CLASH and to fully understand the impact this legislation could have. Additionally, I have reprinted the contact information here for those of you who would like to get personally involved and/or contribute to CLASH's efforts:

Ms. Silk and NYC C.L.A.S.H. can be reached at:
PO Box 1036
Brooklyn, NY 11234

The phone number is 917-888-9317, or you can send an email to


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