The City of New York may ban smoking in city parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas, according to a report
on USA Today. The proposed ban was announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, on Wednesday.
The list of places where smoking may be forbidden consists of 1,700 parks and 14 miles of beach, including Central Park, Coney Island, and the new pedestrian plazas in Times Square.
Mayor Bloomberg has been a staunch advocate of placing restrictions on smoking in public; he mentioned the side effects of smoking
in smokers and non-smokers. During the announcement, Bloomberg said: When you breathe secondhand tobacco smoke
, you're inhaling a bouquet of ... toxins and carcinogens. He added that once the ban is in place, New Yorkers and visitors alike who head off to the City's parks and beaches for a bit of fresh air will get what they came for.
Present smoking prohibitions are already enforced in playgrounds, in outdoor sports events and concerts, and in bars and restaurants in New York City. The implementation of smoking bans
in beaches and parks is not something that is happening first in NYC; Los Angeles and Chicago have already implemented such prohibitions.
Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti clarified that smoking on the sidewalk is alright; however, once one enters into the pedestrian plaza, the area will become a no-smoking zone. Those who light up in the plaza will risk a $50 ticket.
Tim Tompkins, president of the business owner group Times Square Alliance, said that the ban will result in cleaner streets and a cleaner air for Times Square.