NYC outdoor smoking extinguished from May 23

By Reuters
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:00 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Smoking in New York City’s parks, beaches, boardwalks, pedestrian plazas and other public spaces will be banned from May 23 despite complaints about excessive meddling by government in people’s private lives.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the legislation on Tuesday after the city council voted 36 to 12 in favor of the smoking restrictions earlier this month. The law extends the city’s existing ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

“Frederick Law Olmsted hailed public parks as the ‘lungs of the city’ – a haven where one could escape the overcrowded, noisy and polluted streets,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “We need to ensure that our public spaces provide just that – a healthy place in which to relax and enjoy the surroundings.”

New York joins Chicago and San Francisco with initiatives fighting second-hand smoke in public places.

New York City’s parks department will enforce the ban, which said it would give a warning before issuing a $50 fine. Police will not enforce the ban.

“This is tyranny, rationalized by a lie,” said Audrey Silk, director of New York Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment. “That second hand smoke is harming anybody outside is an absolute lie.”

She said that her organization plans to organize an outdoor “smoke-in” on May 23.

Bloomberg has also promoted health measures including a ban on trans fats in restaurant food and a requirement that chain restaurants display calorie counts on menus.

Bloomberg is campaigning nationally for food companies to cut salt levels in their products and for the federal government to ban the purchase of sugary drinks with food stamps – federal vouchers used by 42 million low-income Americans to buy food.

New Yorkers can smoke on sidewalks, parking lots, streets and in their homes, although most landlords don’t allow it.

Reuters.com brings you the latest news from around the world, covering breaking news in business, politics, technology, and more.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EZ4W5CDCIVXKIIKESYBN2EP6VE brian

    On one hand, this is absolutely absurd. I would rather see a crackdown on people littering their butts in the parks, but not for enjoying a butt responsibly.

    On the other hand, I have no problem with these laws on a town/state level. Please just don’t make this a ridiculous federal law. A little variation is great. Let Buffalo do its thing, and NYC do its thing. We’ll see who wins in the end. Variety is the key to life.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with this measure. Many people don’t want to be near people who smoke, even outdoors. It’s a cancer stick. I am glad the government is meddling this time and believe me, I am no government/politics supporter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U4CB4JMBKUBO6NL2RNREZDZUEA Freeky_Fried_Chicken

    Country’s largest prison goes on lockdown.

    The smell of pee and poop will be even more vibrant in the streets.

    Enjoy your own, private hell NYC.

  • Anonymous

    oh damn they banned e-cigs too

  • truebluecoondog

    Well, maybe next time, they will ban something YOU like to do. Me lighting a cigarette in Central Park does not harm anyone else besides ME. There is a difference between banning something that is dangerous to others and banning something because it “bothers” people or is “unpleasant” to others. Even the former, is a slippery slope. I can make a list of things that people enjoy that have only bad effects that will NEVER be banned for the sole reason that measured risk is part of being human.

  • Anonymous

    Just what the Corporations who whore out my city for tourist bucks wanted, and the Plutocrat Billionaire jumping through hoops for them.

    Pure Corporatist Tripe.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRCGTVH7SXIVAQMN6VHRMIG6ZM john wilson

    Let me get this correct, they are going to waste thousand s of man hours of police officers time and their money to enforce this BS. I bet the next thing we hear is Bloomberg saying the city is going broke. What a complete idiot! You may die from being mugged, shot, stabbed, but by God you won’t die from second hand smoke in NYC.

  • Brimstone Hill

    LOL………..in a city that’s a fucking cess pool, full of taxi exhaust, and smelling like a college urinal
    and this Dick-Tater wants to ban cigarettes.