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New Yorkers Would Back Booze Crackdown

NYC residents want Mayor Bloomberg to focus on alcohol abuse, rather than soft drink sizes, a poll shows.

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Will Bloomberg tackle booze next? Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

08/16/12

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is well-known for coercing NYC residents—often kicking and screaming—into healthier habits. But most New Yorkers—56%—would actually favor a crackdown on alcohol abuse, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University. Bloomberg has already abolished smoking in bars and public spaces, banned trans-fats from restaurants and launched a bid to restrict soda sizes—but residents are evidently more interested in battling the city's booze problem. Parents especially worry about alcohol, with 60% of moms and dads of under-18s in favor of cracking down on booze, according to the poll. And there are some interesting geographical variations: Bronx residents overwhelmingly support action, but Staten Islanders don't: only 40% of them see tackling alcohol abuse as worthwhile. Those concerned about the city's drinking habits may be in luck, given reports that the city government wants to conduct its own survey on attitudes to alcohol—suggesting booze may be next on Bloomberg's list. But nothing has been confirmed yet. "The administration uses science and research to inform policy decisions, not what's politically popular or unpopular," asserts Samantha Levine, a spokeswoman for the mayor. That much certainly seems true; the poll found weakening support for Bloomberg’s current push to limit soda sizes, with 54% now opposed to the plan, compared to 51% in June.

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