N.Y. Smokers Call Ban Proposal Gov’t Interference

Mayor Doesn't Want People Lighting Up On Beaches, In Parks

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — Outdoor tobacco lovers … smoke ’em while you can.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday expanded plans to his smoke free air act that would ban outdoor smoking at New York City beaches, parks and even the public plaza in Times Square, which is under Parks Department jurisdiction.

However, CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reports some are saying the government is becoming too involved with regulating our lives.

“We think it would help ensure that when New Yorkers and visitors go to the park or the beach for fresh air … there actually be fresh air for them to breath,” Bloomberg said.

LISTEN: WCBs 880’s Rich Lamb on how it would be enforced
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with comment from the Mayor
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs with reaction from Queens
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports from City Hall

The anti-tobacco mayor cited what he called the hazards of second hand smoke in those areas.

“Even out in the open air second hand smoke can be dangerous as well,” the mayor said.

Michael Herklots is a smoker’s rights advocate and he disagrees, saying the plan is draconian.

“What we are talking about is a second hand smell not a second hand smoke,” Herklots said. “Where does the line get drawn? How far can they regulate what we do with legal products?”

As you’d expect a lot of smokers are outraged over the plan that would ban them from smoking outside in parks, saying what about their rights?

“Outrageous. What is this, a dictatorship?” Zee Torres said.

The proposed ban was the talk at De La Concha tobacco shop in Midtown.

“It’s just another example of creeping interference by government on the rights of individuals,” smoker Jeff Tullman said.

“What are they gonna ban next? It’s out of control,” Richard Montilla added.

“I don’t need a nanny. I’m 56 years old,” said David Muhlfelder.

Many say New York City benefits from millions in taxes from tobacco, while continuing to restrict the people paying for it from using it.

“It would be wonderful if we didn’t have to have a tobacco tax. Why can’t you get that through your mind?” The idea of taxing is so they will not smoke and they will live longer,” Bloomberg said.

  • Justin

    I think it’s also sad how the government has convinced the public that smokers are the antichrist. Anyone on here who thinks all smokers should die just blows my mind. I pity you ignorant fools, and hope you die soon, so we can rid the country of rampant stupidity.

    • binky

      @ Justin wants the smokers to die. We just want them to stay away and not skink up public areas and throw thier butts where ever..

  • Justin

    Please people, there are good people and bad people, some are smokers, some are not. BOTH liter, everywhere. If you’re kids are in the playground, where they belong, you can’t smoke there. And we’re talking about open air spaces, you walk 10 feet away, in a very large central park, and you won’t smell anything. And if we’re really talking about cleaning the air in manhattan, you don’t think the 150 cars, trucks, and buses that blow exhaust in your kids faces aren’t carcinogens. I bet half the ignorant non smokers commenting here go tanning. And don’t blame me for your uncle who smoked around cousin Sally her whole life, and now she has asthma. I’m just trying to enjoy a cigarette on my lunch break in the park, with ample space around me for others to enjoy the park too. I understand closed in environments, (although I miss it) but THE PARK?!? Really? I would’ve hoped we’d have better things to worry about. There’s plenty of awful things you inhale walking through times square, and outside the effects of second hand smoke is practically non existent. This whole thing is just sad to me.

  • Ray

    time to get rid of the facist mayor

  • New Yorker

    Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. I am looking forward to going to the beach or park and not have to endure the disgusting and toxic smell of cigarette and cigar smoke. Some smokers throw their butts in the sand and treat the beach like a giant ashtray.

  • stars gazer

    Smokers have no right to violate non-smokers’ right. Therefore the government do have the right to regulate smoking in all public area.

    There is an inverse relationship between smoking vs education. Since most people don’t smoke, it would be a wise conclusion that there are much more smart people here than dummies.

    • what


    • Justin

      You have the right to walk away

  • Mike

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. I just wish the cigarettes would kill the smokers faster so that I don’t have to breath in their toxic fumes.

  • Bob C

    Bloomberg is an idiot

  • Manuel

    Someone needs to remind Mayor Michael Bloomberg that this is a free country and that New york is part of it.

  • a resident of the City

    How about this-lets ban all non-city residents from driving their cars into the city. They should have large car parks outside the city and they can take public transportaion in. That way, not only do we reduce the deadly exhaust fumes but I can park my car for free in front of my apartment and not have to worry about the public nuisance that is New Jersey license plates and guidos from long island.

  • bryan

    whats more harmful, some people smoking cigarettes or thousands of cars that idle in traffic in nyc spewing carbon monoxide everywhere. Everyone breathes that in, so lets ban cars and trucks as well!

  • smokey the bear

    Dont like smoke? Have asthma? That’s terrible and I’m very sorry for you – here is some free advice move out of NYC. The suburbs or even better the country, has nice, clean air for you to breath. NYC with all of the truck and car exhaust fumes, its killing you and your little poopsy, you should definitely pack up your fat, McDonalds eating family into your station wagon and gtfo of our city.

  • YC

    This is great news. Smokers have no right to endanger other people for their own selfish gratification.

  • Cynthia

    Funny how the Government like every other Dictatorships knows whats good for us. First they attack smoking, taxing us to quote “PUNISH” us. AND There New York Lead the parade of Witch Hunters. Now because the Queen Mother Michelle says salt and sugar are bad for us (Please remember that the same verifiable proof as the do with GLOBAL WARMING), but the Politicians don’t mind the Punishment money they spend with no one caring for what. So now the GOVERNMENT has decided that we are to FAT (that’s after they took the jobs that kept everyone doing something besides eating and sent them overseas). So guess what is next to be taxed to high heaven. Guess who will be treated like third class citizens. This has to end.. American is a FREE Country, but when we start being told what to do and what to eat, where is the freedom.

  • Julian

    This is great. All smokers should be moved to another planet.

  • tulio r bustillo

    keep the good work up mr bloomberg you are the best smokers are killing the humanity with that horrible vicious excellent measures mr bloomberg I say hello from honduras

  • fern

    All I can say is that Hitler was the first one to make a law banning smoking.
    this anti smoking is going on all over the world and has to stop.

  • Magda Parra

    Well, now I know where NOT to spend my next vacations!! Well done, Mr. Bloomberg.
    Mag Parra – Brazil

    • binky

      Fine! keep your stink and garbage in you own country you skank!

  • Andrea Blum

    What a joke…most of you could go home and lose some weight and you will all be a lot healthier. Obesity kills more than secondhand smoke ever will.

  • donnie

    lite up anyway.make lock you up its all about money.they will not fill the jail up with smokers

  • kkk

    youv’e gotta be kidding me Bloomy helped OPEN a new Cigar bar, smokes Illegal Cuban cigars, and has txed a product TWICE it’s worth, tiold many business owners what they can and can NOT do in their own bar..and now he wants to regulate the out of doors too!! Napoleon complex pure and simple

    • kkk

      sorry this was refreshed 3 times before it got up, I really can spell and smoke at the same time- on the beach almost in my backyard finally Sept 15th and my dog can be here too! why ruin a good thing, I pick up WAY more trash than I ever toss!

  • Ed P

    Bloomberg is against additional regulations for business, but for us individuals, start the heavy handed gov’t interference.

    This is going to far and I promise I will break this law many times over.

    P.S When will bloomberg ban wine in the park at the philharmonic concerts!!!!!

    • kkk

      GADS don’t give the little man anymore ideas, I think this was how Hitler got his start!!lol

  • helena

    have any of you anti smoking nuts every done anything about air pollution? it’s like smoking 2 packs a day. you’re just a bunch of neurotic control freaks. i think people that eat junk food and drive gas guzzlers and shop at walmark are offensive ignoramuses that do more harm to all of us than smokers. get a life.

    • kkk

      you are SO right!!!

      • Andrea Blum

        You are right. Take a look at the people on the beaches, parents are enormous and so are their children…that is disgusting and so unhealthy and putting a strain on our healthcare system. Clean your own house before looking to clean others.

  • Joe

    All they are going to do is make criminals out of honest folks. People are going to smoke regardless of taxes or not. The question will eventually be what will those who can not longer afford tobacco do to get it? Probably serious crimes just like illegal drugs!

  • nathan

    Dear smoker:

    You make us sick. No, really.

  • Max B.

    Ok everyone needs to slow down for two seconds on this board. I apologize to anyone who has a relative who has died or is dying of lung cancer, and I also feel sorry for any child that has ever been in a position where they were forced to inhale smoke against their will (as was my case when my parents smoked in the car). However this is not about smokers rights, this is about civil rights. What gives the city the right to ban smoking in parks and beaches. At the moment cigarettes are legal, and it is a different case then alcohol. If you are a smoker or a non smoker and are over 18 years of age, you have the right to buy a pack of cigarettes (pay the taxes), open them up and smoke. In fact they will give you the pack of matches for free. This is the country we live in, it is a product that is sold on every street corner in the city. As for the butts, it is just another form of trash, I mean at least it doesn’t stick to the bottom of my shoe to be honest with you. And by the way gum plagues the streets near my house to anyone who thinks that’s a silly comment. Look it is a free country, which means that if someone lights up and your standing next them you are allowed to politely go up to them and ask if they could please smoke elsewhere. You have two choices ask someone to move, or allow your tax dollars that are allocated to the police department and the parks department to go towards enforcing this ban instead of being allocated into making the streets safer or building a new smoke free playground. By shame on anyone who believe that someone who is buying a legal product in the United States should be fined $250 for lighting up. If you think that is right then fight for cigarettes to be illegal not more smokers legislation. For 5 years now this country has stayed at 21% being smokers, before that point and time smokers legislation did wonders on decreasing smokers. You can’t strong arm this situation, you can only educate and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Max. B

    Wow CBS, I was making a good point and this page just refreshed for no reason. Ridiculous.

  • steve M.

    Bloomberg is the best nanny I’ve ever had! Thanks Nanny Bloomberg!

  • Tom Peters

    So this page refreshes and blows out the commets as someone is writing? Real smart CBS.

  • CK

    Smokers rights? Are you kidding me? If you want to slowly kill yourselves it’s really none of my business but the rest of the world shouldn’t have to suffer just because you need an excuse to go talk outside of a bar for 5 minutes. Give me a break!

  • Booger

    That’s great. I would be happy if they would ban smoking from the planet earth. It’s nasty and stinks.

  • Michael Bloomberg

    My next quality of life initiative is something that I think we can all get behind:


  • Vidis

    YES! Can’t wait to be able to breathe again!
    Smokers suck!

  • Marty Kriegs

    Why dont they just changing laws to benift either goverment or states. WHY is legal to smoke in AC casino, but you cant smoke anywhere else in the state. Some states allow motor bike with no helemets. SC, NH, but yet we need to wear seat belts. You want to know…its all about money..They need to make money off us someway or another. http://WWW.KRIEGSVIEW.com for the 2011 propsed tax laws. And you can talk about all corruption that you want.. i am sick of all the corruption…Cmon people lets do something about it…NOW

    • Marty's Mom


      I’ll give you a dollar if you stop breathing.

  • non-smoker

    @City Mom, What entitle you to trample the rights of others in public places?. Ever heard of common courtesy? Parks are paid by taxes, if smokers are banned, then they have the reciprocal right NOT paying for taxes to fund parks exclusively for your kids.

    This is bad for tourism, as smoking is a integral part of many cultures in the world. Are we going to criminalize tourists due to our overly zealous Mayor?

    • binky

      @ NonSmoker
      Smokers not being banned from going to the parks and beaches! They’re just being told they can’t smoke on them you fool. People could not run around nude or drink alcohol either for as long as I remember. Should no one pay taxes? Really!

      Again, if smokers didn’t throw their used butts all over this would not be an issue.

    • Andrea Blum

      Mayor need s to make a stop at the Plaza at Times Square where 9 out of 10 tourists are smoking.

  • F the city

    Mayoe Blunderberg and his “Quality Of Life” issues. He should pay more attention to the hunger, homeless and crime problems in the city and stop stealing peoples rights.

  • John

    No smoking at beaches or parks? Then you would have to ban all fossil fueled vehicles as well because they give off smoke. In fact, air pollution is the number one killer world-wide, not cigarette or cigar smoke. Tax the gasoline at the same rate as you tax tobacco products and you would see a REAL war on your hands You can’t smoke in most buildings but you are allowed to drive your car in the very same building (indoor parking)! The second-hand smoke theory has never been proven scientifically!
    If non-smokers find it so offensive, maybe they should be banned from the beaches and parks.

    • Eddie

      Amen. Finally someone with a brain, everyone seems to overlook the fact that cars put more pollution in the air then cigarettes . For example a car engine running for 1 hour puts more pollution in the air then 20 packs of cigarettes And yet I don’t see them trying to outlaw automobiles.

  • RH in NY

    When this power hungry Mayor is done with smokers, he’ll be coming for your vices…. soda, chips, idling vehicles, cutting down trees, pick your poison. Be careful how much you rally behind the Bum-berg.

  • Tilly


    “how about we do away with alcohol completely in the state of NY?”

    I think you are on to something there! No more innocent people killed by drunk drivers, a hell of a lot less battered spouses and children and less assaults in general.

    I think banning alcohol would be wonderful proposal. We need to get this idea heard.

  • Evelyn

    Why are they just targeting the smokers? Its hypocritical.
    When was the last time you required police assistance because someone was violent, lude. or putting their lives or the lives of others in jeopardy because they were under the influence of nicotine?
    Point again. If you want to target one group,. then lets do them both and target the drinkers as well and make consuming alcohol illegal in NY!

  • Evelyn

    People complain about cigarette butts? What about the bottles littering the beaches, hwys and parks? Dont be a half way hypocrite. More people cause deaths and injuries from alcohol than from second hand smoke every year so how about we do away with alcohol completely in the state of NY? You cost the taxpayers too much money!
    How about all the moms using cell phones with the kids in the car? Breaking the law and causing accidents and injuries, not to mention that the kids witness them breaking the law all the time!

    • Louis Verrone

      Great point Evelyn! But 5 more wrongs don’t make throwing cigarette butts where ever someone wants to right. Listen to yourself you fool.

      All litter sucks and there are laws and fines if one is caught littering. Some beaches do prohibit bringing food on them. Sad that everyone has to suffer for a few slobs.
      And alcohol is very restricted and the punishments for driving drunk are steep. Second and third offenses are serious too. Public drinking, drinking at work and many places IS prohibited.
      Where have you been?

      And once again, if smokers were respectful as to where they smoke and put their garbage this would be happening.

  • Johnny

    Exactly, all these garbage laws do nothing except give the city yet another way to extract more money out of ordinary citizens. Perhaps they should imit the number of bicycles in the park to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries or not allow food in the park to reduce littering. These laws are just feel good tactics and do nothing to promote public safety.

  • City Mom

    “Smoker’s Rights”?? Are you people for real? What about the rights of the NON-smokers and their children who are forced to inhale your dangerous and toxic air? This ban is a necessary action because we cannot count on the civility and common sense of people who light up right next to our kids in the parks.

    • mohamad

      First they should ban Al cohol in public places.Cause this is offeding Muslims in the public places too .Why double standard?If you ban smoking you also must ban Al cohol consumtions in public places.islam prohibit al cohol use! salam

      • binky

        Alcohol is banned in most public places!

  • Crytal

    Bloomberg – NY should have gotten rid of this clown – he’s ruined this city in more ways that I can discuss here and now. Banning smoking at parks and beaches? Are you kidding? Has he nothing better to do? All he wants is to chase the poor and middle class out of New York with a new idea on how to TAX people, and generate incomes through FINES – this bann is just a new way to write TICKETS – they have quotas on cops for traffic tickets, and a host of other tickets, wake up, people. It’s NOT about smoking, it’s about earning more money for the city.

    • Mark

      Dummy of course he wants to earn money for the city, without it we have nothing. Secondly how is this chasing the middle class out of the city?? You are not making much sense. Please do tell how he has ruined New York. As far as I can see he has improved our infrastructure and made New York a great city to live in. Please try to do some research on how a city especially one as big as New York functions and then make dumb and irresponsible remarks such as you did earlier. Stop with the Bloomberg hating, he is not trying to make money for himself, but for the city.

  • op

    can i repost it on f/b

  • binky

    Good riddance! It serves them right.
    If smokers put a bit of thought as to where the lit up didn’t throw their used butts all over the place this wouldn’t be happening.
    The truth is that most smokers would light up in the public library and put there butt out on floor if there was no laws to prevent them from doing so.
    Way to go Bloomy!

  • Louis Verrone

    Good riddance! It serves them right.
    If smokers put a bit of thought as to where the lit up didn’t throw their used butts all over the place this wouldn’t be happening.
    The truth is that most smokers would light up in the public library and put there butt out on floor if there was no laws to prevent them from doing so.
    Way to go Bloomy!

  • Paul63

    Asmoker whibes that smokers are being treated as criminals. You ARE criminals. You kill large numbers of people with your secondhand smoke.

    • Justin

      Research Paul, research. You clearly need a reality check

  • Jack

    Smoker’s rights? The right to litter? Cigarette buttes are the most littered item in the U.S. How about we start enforcing these $1000 littering fines? Since littering is a crime, then smokers should be considered criminals, because all of you do it.

    • binky

      So true. The litter is crazy.

      • Christine

        Not to mention the thousands of years it will take for all of the cigarette filters to decompose.

  • Paul

    Yeah “staunchly anti-tobacco mayor” but he loves his cigars. Had the chance of seeing him at the reopening of a cigar club in Manhattan,hypocrite!

    • Louis Verrone

      I’m sure he didn’t throw it on the floor when he was done like a dirtbag!

      • Like Verrone

        Cigar bars have ventilation so innocent bystanders are not subject to the unwanted 2nd hand smoke.

  • bernie

    I think it’s time for a new mayor …I would never cast a vote for this man … Where is the smokers rights ? It is getting out of hand now and so is he !

    • Louis Verrone

      You butts all over the place is what’s out of hand!

      • eab

        Amen! Smokers should have no rights, Who gives them the right to aggravate my asthma and smoke around little kids? My brother-in-law may not live to see his grandchild be born early next year because his lung cancer has returned. He’s a lifelong smoker. He doesn’t deserve cancer but his daughters and my sister don’t deserve the asthma they developed living in a house with a smoker.

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