Only one ticket issued so far in New York parks smoking ban

By Kase Wickman
Monday, June 27, 2011 10:58 EDT
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The controversial smoking ban in New York City parks has been in place for just over a month now, and the Wall Street Journal reports that only one ticket has been issued for violating it.

The one person who has been ticketed, according to the article, is a New York Daily News photographer who “had been goading officials to issue a ticket.” Officers are largely responding to smoking in parks with warnings, instead of the $50 fine.

Indeed, Council Member Gale Brewer, the law’s lead sponsor, said this will be the “summer of warnings.”

“I don’t want people to get tickets and feel like there is somebody doing this for revenue,” she said. “I like the fact that there are warnings.”

“The Daily Show” ridiculed the new law in a segment last week.

The city says that it is counting on New Yorkers themselves to enforce the ban, which went into effect May 23. If they see someone smoking in a park, the city assumes someone will ask the smoker to put it out.

“If there’s kids around or if it bothers someone, it’s okay,” one person told local news channel NY1. “Otherwise it is what it is.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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