Despite rumors and countless AP articles, smoking is still legal for patrons in New York City. It’s the clubs who are under the carcinogenic fire. But do they care?
I for one am not convinced. As in any business, savvy proprietors make accommodations for their VIPs. For example, if you were a $10M Whale at Wynn Las Vegas, as soon as you blew your credit line at the Baccarat table, Steve Wynn himself would lend you his ADA diamond-encrusted walking stick to cane the strippers sent to your suite (until they’re the ones who can’t see straight).
The same is true for club owners. Smoking is still permissible; it’s just gotten more elite. Let’s imagine that a New York City club owner was hosting a $30k Arab Sheik one night. Provided his Opec-issued Centurion swipes an approval (or nuclear launch) code, he would have management’s permission to blow Hamas-hookah smoke in all of his wives’ unexposed faces while dancing to Busta Rhyme’s “Arab Money” as if the Wailing Wall collapsed. Another $10k the venue would let Abdul ash on Rabbi Shmuley’s kippah while standing on a VIP roped-off bima. Everyone in the business has their price; fines are merely PR hiccups. Case in point: if one of your Whales flew in on a Citation 5 Jet, you could care less about getting five Department of Health citations.
Who’s contributing to this cloud? Well it’s not me, my Jew-Live-Crew, nor my evening Shiksa Supreme. However, on any given night I end up secondhand smoking four Cipriani Russians, three F.I.T. Freshmen, two Baruch-Bimbos and inevitably a Hedonistic Hofstra Ho (who more than often sucks the filter right off).
The practice is as revolting as it is hazardous. Standing downwind from a “Svetlana” at the bar at Southside is as safe as trying to pay for Falafel in a Fallujah diner with Hanukkah Gelt. The social factor: Kissing “Svetlana’s” repugnant Restylane after half a pack has the sex appeal of making out with the tail pipe of the Camry she’ll drive back to “the nice part” of Brooklyn at the end of her evening. Come on honey, even Aeroflot’s banned the practice! Following Toyota’s lead, her smoke-filled face should be factory-recalled, as I’m sure any pedal would stick right to her floor mat.
Smoking in Manhattan clubs is still widely accepted, now it’s just more exclusive. Let’s hope the egregious offenders’ bottle-popping credit collapses before my once-pink lungs. The only one who wins in this addiction affliction is my Dry Cleaner, who oddly owns quite a bit of stock in RJ Reynolds.
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The comments stated in this column are Justin Ross Lee's personal opinions and do not represent the opinion of Clubplanet.com or any one of its parent companies.