At least 25 people have been targeted by Flickers in the past several months. Anita, a 24-year old fashion student living in Tribeca, claims to have been the victim of a Flicker last Friday night around 2am. When I asked about the encounter she told me,
"I was walking down 2nd avenue and a guy walking towards me was smoking. As he approached he took one last drag from his cigarette and then flicked it right at me. It landed in the hood of my jacket. I had to take my jacket off and find the damn thing. My friends were laughing hysterically. I wasn't hurt, but it left a pretty serious burn mark."While clearly not as serious as being punched from behind, cigarette Flicking poses a very serious danger to pedestrians. A lit cigarette is a fire hazard and should be disposed of properly. Human hair is highly flammable, as is most clothing and millions of cigarettes are consumed daily in Manhattan alone. There is not much that can be done about this problem, but local police are aware of the situation. Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio had this to say, "We always knew smokers were terrible people. It doesn't surprise me at all that these Flickers think they can get away with hurting innocent people."
New York has been the target of several violent trends, the latest being the Knockout Game. It has many people looking over their shoulders. Well, the next time you walk past someone smoking... make sure to give them space. If they are done with their smoke it just may come your way. You will probably not end up in a hospital but you may have to purchase a new scarf.
- John Powers