Big Apple Closer To Expanding Public Smoking Ban

Mayor's 'Smoke Free Air Act' Has Some New Yorkers Seeing Red

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — Hey outdoor tobacco lovers, smoke ’em while you can.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron on the controversy

The City Council moved one step closer Thursday to expanding Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Smoke Free Air Act, CBS 2 Marcia Kramer reports.

City smokers were not going down without a fight.

“Smokers have been thrown under the bus enough. Smokers are financing their own discrimination and it needs to stop,” David Goerlitz said.

They were out at City Hall Park, telling people that Mayor Bloomberg expected to soon get his way and get the city to enact a law that would ban smoking at beaches, parks, plazas and playgrounds.

“The City Council would rather choose to deny us our civil liberties than advising their other citizens to walk away. This is perverted on its face. This is a hate campaign, not a public health campaign,” said Audrey Silk of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.

Supporters of the ban said it’s all about public health.

“There is no safe level of second-hand smoke. Not inside, not outside, not anywhere,” said Dr. Maureen Killackey, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society.

The bill sponsor is Manhattan Democrat Gale Brewer.

“I think neighbors and beach goers and park users will get used to it,” Brewer said. “People will say it’s an infringement on their rights but the real issue is public health. Guess what? We don’t want you smoking.”

At a public hearing on the issue, Councilman Peter Vallone introduced a compromise bill that would set aside no smoking zones at the city’s larger parks and beaches.

“I think we can make a smoking section work in parks bigger and beaches bigger than two acres. If we set aside 20-percent I think that’s a good compromise,” he said.

In addition to the health issue, city officials said they are also concerned about litter. They said they’ve found that 75 percent of the debris on beaches, 45 percent on playgrounds and 33 percent in parks were cigarette butts or cigarette packaging.

City Council sources told Kramer the bill was being fast tracked and a vote is expected within a month.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment Plans 'Smoke-In' At Brighton Beach To Protest NYC's New Smoking Ban « CBS New York

    […] group, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment or CLASH, is holding a rally Saturday to protest the ban at Brooklyn’s Brighton […]

  • New York City Council Expected To Ban Smoking In Public Parks, Stretches Of BeachCBS New York

    […] City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to broaden the anti-smoking law to include parks. View This PollMarket […]

  • Charles

    Who pushes you around in your pram, Pigback — mommy? Better not get out, you might trip over a cigarette butt and hurt your itty-bitty self.

  • mj

    this is getting out of control . what about smokers rights ? they pay taxes too. and no i don’t smoke

    • Clara

      Dear fellow libertarians,

      If there is one thing that we all ought to realize when talking about rights, it is this


      For example, what would you say to smokers, who have children, smoking in their own private homes? Now that isn’t forbidden by law. And yet, one cannot help wonder how to balance the parent’s right to smoke with the child’s right to avoid second-hand smoke? Of-course, the child may not always complain and may even take to early smoking. Now, if nobody is complaining, there is no argument from rights, no question of conflict of rights. But then, the child’s health could surely have been far better in a healthier environment – you see the point, don’t you?

      We have to choose the right balance between opposing rights of different people keeping the larger picture in perspective – by trying to identify which things are gratuitous and which absolutely important (good health, for example).

  • More drama, please...

    Why , Dr. Mengele, od course. That’s what you meant didn’t you?

    Everyone, who’s fed up sucking up the byproducts fo the poison you exhale is nothing short of a nazi to you. Overweight do not harm other people. YOU DO. Civil liberties, my ass!

  • Intense NYC Smoking Debate Overshadowed

    […] New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NY1, CBS New York, Associated Press via Washington […]

  • Kevin


    Doctors promoting hate.

    Where have we seen this one before?

  • Kevin

    Note to self;

    Should the next phase of public health advocacy the “Porker Control movement”, turn viciously against the overweight in the same manner they are entitling bigotry and hate mongering,against people just because they smoke.. Stretching the same model the Tobacco Control fanatic lobby demonstrated.

    I for one will be sure to tell this woman, that looking like a stuffed cow is not setting a good leadership example, which does not befit the very ideal she defined as legitimate.

    that ;we don’t want her eating so much.

  • NYSmike

    Apparently, sugary drinks. People wake up!

  • Tom


  • City Room: Heated Debate at Hearing on Smoking Ban in Parks - New York Times | All Recreation

    […] Nearby, the City Council …Lawmaker proposes smoking sections in NYC parksWashington PostBig Apple Closer To Expanding Public Smoking BanCBS New YorkNYC lawmaker proposes setting up smoking sections in city […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live