By Agence France-Presse
NEW YORK (AFP) – In the midst of an unrelenting battle against smokers and cigarettes, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might be surprised to hear there’s a tobacco plantation right under his nose.
The rebel crop consists of 100 potted plants lined up in the Brooklyn garden of Audrey Silk, a sort of smokers’ guerrilla leader who intends to fight the mayor to the last puff.
Silk, a chain-smoking former police officer of 46, says each crop of baccy produces about 400 packs of cigarettes and — unlike the $12-15 store packs in the city — not a penny goes into Bloomberg’s tax coffers.
“This is called ‘Screw You Bloomberg Garden’,” Silk says with a mischievous look.
The mayor, a billionaire former smoker pressing to make New York healthier, means business.
Last month he signed a law extending the smoking ban already in offices, bars and restaurants to include swaths of the outdoors.
When it takes effect in May the law will prohibit lighting up in parks, beaches and even busy gathering places like Manhattan’s Times Square — taking the ban within flirtation distance of forbidding cigarettes in the street.