The "public health city" is clearly one of the most unhealthy corners of a free society. The continuing trend of using anything touching on health as a justification for government control of behavior sickens me.
As a good friend pointed out, the scenario of a city banning all outdoor smoking was considered a far-fetched slippery slope argument just a few years ago during smoking ban debates.
New York City's action today is all the more pernicious not because there's some fundamental right to smoke, but because the government overreach invades such a low-level arena with such blanket, uncompromising force. It's petty tyranny run amuck. The outdoor smoking ban is unnecessary, and it's a regrettable precedent.