Bloomberg’s Health Initiatives Target Alcohol, Too

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Bloomberg imbibes. Photo: Diane L. Cohen/Getty Images

Booze can now be added to the list of fun things Mayor Bloomberg wants less of in New York City, with public campaigns against smoking, salt, sugar, and trans-fat already underway. The New York Post reports that Bloomberg, although he's "known for sipping fine wine and downing a cold beer from time to time," has plans to limit the sale of alcohol, in addition to advertising and promotion for bars and liquor. Thanks to the Health Department's Healthier New York City initiatives, the so-called nanny state could be drying up some soon.

According to the proposals obtained by the Post, goals include "reducing alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density and illegal alcohol," along with cutting down "the exposure to alcohol products and bar advertising and promotion in retail and general (trains, buses, etc.) settings (stores, restaurants, etc."

The department wouldn't go into specifics yet, but said, "The city’s goals for the Partnership for a Healthier New York are in line with our ongoing strategies of promoting healthy eating and physical activity and discouraging tobacco, excessive alcohol use and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages." They cite statistics like a rise in underage alcohol-related emergency room visits and adult hospitalizations, plus the fact that alcohol factors into almost half of all homicides.

Bloomberg did not comment publicly on the Prohibition-ish plans, but yesterday he defended the city's intense new anti-obesity ads, which include pictures of sugary drinks next to a man whose leg was amputated because of diabetes. "What do you want to do, have people lose their legs or do you want to show them what happens so that they don't lose their legs? Take your poison," Bloomberg said. "It saves lives, that's why New York City's life expectancy is 2.5-3 years greater than the country as a whole." He also said he loves the fried chicken at Brooklyn's Buttermilk Channel.