City Council isn’t smoke-free, Brooklyn pol Stephen Levin admits

Smokers actually do have a shaky foothold in the City Council – not that it helps much.

After the Council voted, 36 to 12, last week to ban smoking in city parks, beaches and public plazas, the Daily News reported Sunday that one reason could be the lack of smokers on the Council.

More than a dozen Council members and staffers said they hadn’t seen a member regularly lighting up in years – though some enjoy the occasional cigar.

It turns out there’s at least one smoker.

A Council member contacted The News Sunday with an off-the-record tip about a smoking colleague – Brooklyn’s Stephen Levin. The snitch added in a note: “I’m sure there are others. When 85% of the public doesn’t smoke, you tend to be discreet.”

Levin, a 31-year-old Democrat elected in 2009, insists he’s trying hard to quit – a struggle he shares with President Obama.

“Most of the time, I’m good. It’s every once in a while, I slip – much like the President of the United States,” Levin said.

If smokers think they’ll benefit from having a kindred spirit in the Council, they’re mistaken. Levin voted for the smoking ban.

“Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthmatic reaction, even in the outdoors,” he said.

“One of the other main reason why I voted for the smoking ban is I don’t want kids to think that smoking is cool or acceptable,” Levin added. “The last thing I want to see is kids smoke or thinking that smoking is okay.”


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