Big Apple gives big elbow to smokers

New York City has taken its smoking prohibition outdoors by adding the city’s parks and beaches to the list of places where smoking is banned, as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to promote healthy habits.

New York’s City Council voted in February to broaden the city’s smoking prohibitions to cover its 1,700 parks, beaches, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas, such as Times Square and follow Chicago and Los Angeles, which have already enacted similar bans.

The ban will not be enfoced by the NYPD but by the city’s Park Department which does not plan on cracking down very hard and already many smokers have said they would flout the ban, despite the threat of a $50 fine.

Later this week, smokers’ rights group New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, is organizing a ‘Smoke-in the park’ event, where a crowd will simultaneously light up on the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

The ban is the latest measure implemented by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cut down on unwanted second-hand smoking in public areas and where New York leads the rest of the world usually follows sooner or later.

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