NYC Council Bans Smoking In Parks, Beaches

Many Believe The Big Apple Has Become A Nanny State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Smokers have just one message for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council members: butt out of our business.

“We’re outside. We should have freedom to smoke,” City Hall Park smoker Harvey Forbes told CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.

By a vote of 36 to 11 on Wednesday the City Council approved a bill to ban smoking in all city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.

“People who have made the decision not to smoke have civil liberties too and their health and their lives should not be negatively impacted because other people have decided to smoke,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

1010 WINS Reporter Carol D’Auria gets comments from City Council Speaker Quinn

Council members who voted against the ban said they see it as an invasion of individual rights.

“We have this crazy idea that we can change the way people behave. You can’t have salt, you can’t have sugar. Hop on a bicycle because it’s bad to drive your car. It’s ridiculous. What’s next?” said minority whip Eric Ulrich, adding when asked if New York City is becoming a police state, “I think so. It’s a slippery slope.”

There is no constitutional right to smoke in city parks and beaches so smokers have no legal recourse. But civil libertarians like Norman Siegal said the ban is just plan wrong.

“I think we’re moving towards a nanny state where government thinks they know what’s best for its citizens. You can inform, educate and persuade, but don’t take away our freedoms,” Siegal said.

A John Jay College public management professor said he finds it hard to believe secondhand smoke outdoors is harmful.

“What is the documentary evidence that secondhand smoke on the street is bad for you. It’s a tough sell. There’s a lot of air out here, not that much cigarette smoke,” Daniel Feldman said.

The law takes effect 90 days after Mayor Bloomberg signs it. Quinn said she was “very glad” that New York was becoming “a public health city.”

The smoking ban will cover some 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches plus boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas.

RELATED: Bloomberg Says No Compromise On Public Space Smoking Ban

Quinn said in addition to beaches and parks becoming free of secondhand smoke, there would also be less cigarette butts littering beaches.

Agree with the City Council’s decision? Think it’s a violation of your rights? Let us know about it in the comments section below.

More from Carol D'Auria
  • DougPete

    Let’s ban fat people. They are using up more than their share of resources and flooding the healthcare system. If we can’t ban them, let’s restrict them to certain parts of the city where we establish No Fast Food Zones!

    After that, let’s go after all the consumers of alcohol. There’s no good reason why people are allowed to drink. It just makes them shiftless and annoying to talk to. If everyone is sober, we’ll be able to get more work done in this country.

    Now let’s talk about old people …

    • Al

      Dont worry Doug, that too is in the works.

  • CJ

    Victoria, get your hormones under control, dingbat. If you want to be everyone’s mother, then run for office as a Democrat, otherwise, STFU. No one gives a rat’s a– about you or your bratty kids.

    • tamara

      If you want to kill yourself with cigarette smoke, by all means go ahead. But the problem with you obnoxious smokers is that you force us non-smokers to inhale your poison too. I applaud NYC’s decision, and I hope Chicago follows.

  • Andrew Moore

    Less cigarette tax revenue.

  • Lizard King Mike

    Council also wants to ban people from listening to their i-pods and mp3 players outside.Ban people from talking on their cellphones outside.Ban E-Cigs.Ban flushing the toilet too many times.While King Mike’s war now turns to fighting sugar and soda with nasty ads.What a joke this once great city has become.Softer then a soft pretzel.

    • Brenda's nemisis

      What do they get from banning the e-cig? I can’t get my mind wrapped around that one. They don’t seem to want to even visualize someone smoking. Brenda would love this, her hatred toward smokers is almost criminal. Banning the e-cig is cruel.
      I bet we can find a good lawyer to fight that one, cruel and inhuman treatment of an addict.

  • CJ

    I’m going to collect all the ashtrays at my house and outside my business offices and I”m going to drive into the city and dump them at the parks and beaches in NY, on a regular basis.
    And will someone please take tyrannical, self-righteous, hormonal, Leftist dingbats like Bloomberg and Quinn and give them cement shoes? Then take them swimming in the East RIver.

    • mandyv

      When A certain ( ban the ciggies, use the children ) dictator of evil died in the last war, I believe the “normal people” took to the streets to smoke. Another anti like Bin Ladan and many others are controlling little dictators and use the same propaganda language.
      Big PHARMA make no money from e-cigs.
      Holiday in NY I think not, that would be my idea of the holiday from hell I spend my “smokers money” wisely. I do not even want to spend holidays away in any part of the UK.

  • Doug

    I’m disgusted with people who think their children are the most precious things on earth and everyone has to bow down to commands of overprotective parents. You live in NYC for criminy’s sake… Move to the burbs if you want cleaner air.

    • BRENDA

      Doug, you must be a very horrible dad or kid less (hopefully) children are the most precious things on earth you idiot!!!!!! Hopefuly your sperm never makes it to an egg!

  • Deshon Bradley

    um i dont smoke, i dont allow smoking in my car, house, or yard, yet when im out its that persons free will to smoke. if im in public and a person smokes near me, i have no problem getting up and moving.

  • Josh

    It’s just the whiny babies who smoke that are upset. I’m happy just because none of them seem to think disgarding their cigarette butts is littering. It would be wonderful to walk through NYC and not see any butts on the ground.

  • Dianne

    All of you that own cars, STFU. You go in your garage and I will go in mine. You start your car and I’ll light a carton of cigs. Let’s see who comes out. I don’t smoke but freedom is being taken here…wake up!

    • Claudia

      You are so right- how can people be so stupid?????

  • John Stevens

    The city council and department of health are fascist clowns……

    Rich liberal authoritarians….hypocrites….

  • april

    I wonder where Obama smokes when he is in NYC???????????????

  • jim

    good luck enforcing it. cant wait to see the good citizens telling the smokers that this is a no smoking park

  • Richard

    I think being made to wear steel toed boots will be next.. you might drop something on your foot.. then they can mandate all cooks to wear 2 types of fire extinguishers.. you might start a fire.. how about every airline provide parachutes.. buy yourself a personal helmet with flashlight.. GPS.. and flashing light if you get lost walking to grandmaws house at night. Raises hand to go to bathroom in my own house.

  • Americuss

    Just another reason NOT to visit NYC. Ban vehicles first. I hear they will contribute to global warming so you New Yorkers won’t get any more snow.

    • fleabyte

      I have never been to NYC and you could not pay me enough to visit there. Would be great to see a smoker demonstration numbering in the thousands. Send in the Butt Police!

  • ed

    all productive non liberal people should vote with their feet and move out of NYC

    • SGA

      I’m not a smoker. I have been asked multiple times to go to NYC to work in the software industry. Every time I have told them “no” because of all the goofy unamerican stuff going on in that city – can’t walk and talk, sugar police, self-protection is considered a character flaw by the mayor, etc. So I can tell you, there are productive people certainly unwilling to move there (anymore) these days!

    • heatherfeather

      Yep. Let the libs pay for their welfare Nanny state. It is already happening. Dig a little deeper, libs, and put your money where your mouth is.

      • badman

        we are paying for it. if you don’t want to chip in, stay in Jersey.

  • Freedom lover

    People are going to go along until it’s something they enjoy doing being banned. Then they will finally wake up

  • James Spruyt

    I live in the free state of Arizona. I heard Bloomberg now has a secret video of people smoking in Arizona’s public parks. He claims that if Arizona cracks down on smoking then there will be no more problems in Utopia, I mean New York.

  • darkwolf

    We have no constitutional right to smoke in public?

    We have a contitutional right to life,liberty, and persuit of happiness.

    Since smoking makes me HAPPY, should then have the LIBERTY to pursue my LIFE how see fit.

    Have no problem with having specific smoking areas however.

  • jerseyjoey

    I thought NEW JERSEY was anal, Ha NYC you got to be kidding right, oh no no i forgot your all a bunch of leftist liberal meely mouth lemmings, nono commie socialist lemmings, haha your commies , let big comrad bone you bend over, lol

    And i dont smoke but i like the tax revenue from it that helps keep my taxes lower, so god be with you smokers puff away

  • BBS

    I lived in the NY metro area for 7 years. I am so glad to be back down south where the gov’t doesn’t feel obligated to watch over me as though I wer a child.

  • PSpagnuolo

    That’s what happens when you let someone BUY their way into another term. New Yorkers should have sent Bloomberg packing. in the meanwhile we should be demonstrating every chance we get and tell Mike to stay home and concentrate on basic stuff like SNOW REMOVAL instead of conducting sting operation in Arizona. Mr. Bloomberg apparently thinks his money makes him smarter than everyone else.

  • joan

    I don’t smoke , but I am livid that these morons (Bloomberg,Quinn et al) are acting like Big Brother. I am a New Yorker born and bred, but because of these self centered, disgusting politicians, I can’t wait to get the heck out of this city!!! I hope they all get cancer from second hand smoke, or a heart attack from too much salt or fat!

  • Smokey

    Just another way to generate money for the city. Bicycles, smoking what’s next eating lunch in the park.

    • Big Bear

      If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street. If you take a walk I’ll tax your feet.

      Taxman! Mr. Bloomberg!


    American Citizens are losing their rights, one by one. We had so many more freedoms just ten years ago. Go back 100 years we had way more freedoms.
    A government FOR the PEOPLE BY the people. But our country is slowly becoming a communist state. No more middle class. Just those who have it and thos who don’t. Prohibition will soon be back, and eventually we’ll be given our weekly handout of rations and told what to do with them.

    • CBH

      Bravo- very well put! Thank you!!

  • Czar

    impeach bloomy

  • Steve

    Our nation was funded by tobacco to help finance the Revolution. Most if not all of the founding fathers had tobacco plantations. George Washington also brewed his own beer. Perhaps that is next on the banned for life list

  • jaems

    Next ban will be those that do not take showers or bath daily!

    Then they can ban all the cars that need engine work,
    you know the smoke flows out of the tail pipes leaving a blue haze
    in the wake.

    • Vicki

      What’s the matter with you? Only one bath a week. Must save water.

  • Eduardo Rey

    Next, let’s ban perfumes and colognes. There’s nothing more gagging than to walk into an elevator or to get on the subway or bus and end up next to someone who took a bath in their fragrance. Then, after that let’s arrest people who don’t shower and brush their teeth and are walking around with body odor and/or bad breath. Given enough time, we can probably think of something for every single person in New York to violate.


    • balto

      I think Bloomberg would love to turn NYC into Singapore.

      • Big Bear

        Does that mean hanging the drug dealers?



    • Quick Draw

      So is the myth that taking guns used to protect one’s family from law abiding people will somehow lower gun crime committed by criminals who by definition do not obey laws.

  • J

    When what is happening in Egypt happens in New York or the United States, then our government will listen.

    I do not smoke, but am totally understanding. The Mayor and City Council Communists.

  • Chris

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Someone taking a leisurely stroll through Central Park can’t enjoy a nice cigarette because of the whole “second-hand smoke” issue? People should be able to smoke wherever they damn well please when they’re outdoors. Don’t like the second-hand smoke? Walk away from me and my cigarette then. Watch, next they’ll ban smoking on the city’s sidewalks.

    • christian

      I hope they do ban smoking on city sidewalks.. if you love the smoke so much why dont you smoke in your home all day long. Why should i be subjected to your secondhand smoke?


        @christian: Because we don’t like you and want to get cancer. Were do you live? I can get maybe 2-3 hundred smokers to come to your house and blow smoke in your face all day.

        On another note, The City Counsel has just past a law that anyone with the name christian must report to special “work camps”.

      • Chris

        That’s a TERRIFIC idea. I’ll just sit home and smoke. I’ll ignore the fact that there’s a world outside of my front door just because I smoke cigarettes, and I wouldn’t want to upset an upstanding citizen like yourself or anyone else who wants to take a smoker’s rights away. Actually, nah. I think I’ll continue smoking in the streets. Pout all you want about it, because it will not stop me or any other smoker out there.

  • winston


    • joan

      Just morons like you

    • Smokey

      smoke them if you got them

    • Chris

      Yeah, okay. Guess I’m a “loser” and a “deadhead” who’s waiting to die. I want to take as many people out with me. Really logical theory you’ve got there, numb nuts.



    • Jeff

      Says the idiot named after a cigarette!


      WHAT!!!!! You sound real bright.


    I wonder how many non smokers smoke pot and crack

  • Smoker57

    The City is broke…..who’s going to give out the summons. Bloomberg is out of control.

  • balto

    One day Bloomberg will ban pizza because of the fat in cheese and the white flour in the crust — you will only be able to get whole wheat crust with some kind of soy cheese.

    • Christian

      sounds good to me… mmmmmmmm soy…

    • Kelly

      Don’t forget your prune!

  • otto

    This is a freedom of choice issue – 100% – and yes, smoking is a God given right. The rights extended in the Constitution are NOT given by the government, but by God. if you don’t get that, go back and take US History 101. The Founding Fathers were very clear about this.

    Anyone who is commenting about how bad it is for you, etc. – you are missing the point completely. I am intelligent and well informed. If I choose to smoke, that is my right – end of story.

    I smoked cigarettes for most of my adult life. I don’t care for them anymore – too many additives and the taste is now awful. I have switched to cigars – and I love them – a completely different smoking experience (you have to try ACID brand cigars – they are amazing!). God help anyone who tries to take away my stogies!

    Banning outdoor smoking is meant to be an incremental step towards total tobacco prohibition. And if you think the govt will stop there, then you are naive.

    • badman

      um. where in the constitution (or elsewhere in writing by the Founding Fathers) does it say that smoking is a “god-given right”? And how about my right not to have your smelly sh1t in my face? Maybe if you let me fart in your face, then we’d be even.

      no, they won’t totally prohibit tobacco – still too much $$ in the industry. but they will make it so smokers can only contaminate each other in spaces sealed off from the rest of the world.

      and cigars – what’s with the sucking fixation? momma’s teat? or a big high hard one, maybe?

    • StormsNYC

      They’ve not banner all outdoor smoking, jsut smoking in public parks and beaches, places funded and maintained by all tax payers, including the ones that have the right to NOT breathe your second hand smoke.

      Anyway, your comments are spoke like a true addict, coming from someone who quite a 10 year pack a day habit himself.

  • Wall St Investor

    I hold alot of Philip Morris stocks. If people stops smoking my stocks are worth less.

  • Grey MaveRick

    I am not a smoker but if I was was I would be outraged, and justifiably so. I can understand the logic and justification behind the no smoking ban within confided spaces, but attempting to make a law against people smoke out doors is absolutely ridiculous. The mayor is trying to control people’s behavior and what they do by using the law for one of his personal pet peeves. Why not focus that energy on education and our public schools, our horrible streets, the MTA’s extortion of the common man, etc? The mayor is starting to behave like a tyrant and a totalitarian. His arrogance and lack of empathy has no limits. President? Never!!!

    • Carl Eric Scott

      Precisely, Grey. My feelings precisely. And apparently, New Yorkers are SHEEP, who have utterly NO CHARITY towards their fellow citizens who have a bad habit. New Yorker non-smokers, you want to hound them out of parks? After kicking them out of bars? Will sidewalks be next? Utterly contemptuous behavior towards your fellow citizens,and towards the foreigners who visit your city, and all dressed up as concern.

  • Lieutenantdan

    Fat people, alcoholics, workaholics, gay people having unprotected sex and catching AIDS also cost tax payers money. Brakes dust from trucks and cars.
    People getting too much sun or not enough sun. Planes.
    Enough is enough. I find it hard to believe that smoking outside can do harm to anyone or anything. This is a trend for the trendy yuppie pseudo intellects.

    • Kelly

      And have you seen the stats on sports injuries?

  • Smoking is for LOSERS

    Smoking is REVOLTING. I hate breathing second hand smoke and I hate seeing cigarettes littered everywhere, such as City Parks, Beaches, and all of the Sidewalks in NYC. If you started smoking within the last 20 years, you are a moron, since now that we know all of the health risks and side effects.

    • otto

      Revolting – That is your OPINION. Not everyone shares your opinion and should not have their rights curbed because of them.

      Littering is a completely different issue.

      Calling smokers morons? Gee, I wonder who the true moron is (take a peek in the mirror). I am assuming you have never read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    • LEL MN

      Well how nice for you “Smoking is for LOSERS”, one of your least favorite things is now illegal. However, I do think it unfair of you to pick on a specific religion, Morons have a right to their beliefs.

  • Mr. Armenia

    the smokers civil rights are being violated

  • Alicia Rodis

    Yes, its terrible for you, and people are idiots to do it. I’m an ex smoker, and don’t like it around me. But come on – I think this is a little bit of an overkill, kids. I may not like what you say or do, but I will defend to the death your right to do it.

  • Sam

    GOOD. Our beaches are littered with cigarettes.

    • piddy

      LOL. Those that voted against it are the ones who enjoy and are addicting to smoking!!! Too bad! Hope they ban CIG SOON!! I can’t stand the odor of cigs, and the risks it has towards those that smoke.

      • otto

        Wait until the government bans something you enjoy – something you may know is not 100% safe, but believe it is within your rights to enjoy. Then your story will change.

      • mkw

        I don’t think NY could stand another loss of tax revenue, the consumer cost of cigs is mostly tax…I would recommend every smoker who can stop buying cigs in the city and shift the tax revenue to somewhere else.

    • smarter than you

      and needles moron

  • Eye Doc

    smoking kills, plain n simple. it costs the US BILLIONS of dollars to deal with the health issues caused by this vice. We all pay for those who will eventually need medical care brought on by smoking. Attend a few autopsies of smokers and you’ll get a better idea.

    • Samantha

      How about the billions of dollars that smokers contribute to free health care for the nations children. Don’t those dollars count doc? Don’t you care about the health care of our nation’s poor children?
      Any American who can’t see what the NYC city council has done to their own freedoms is beyond naive. If you think Bloomers will stop at cigarettes, you are sadly mistaken. When you let them take away the rights of others, you risk losing your own. Wake up you narrow minded sheep!!
      Also, I’m guessing that 99% of those supporting this law do things EVERY SINGLE DAY

      • Laslavic

        When I run the world smokers would no longer be forced to pay absurd taxes. They would pay more for their insurance though. Smokers are nothing but a short term cash cow for greedy politicians. An audit of how the tax revenue is spent would be as interesting as the audit of how the massive payout from the tobacco lawsuits to the states were and are still used. Google it.

      • smokeeater

        It used to be a right to own slaves as well. I think the whole “Rights” platform smells of self absorbed justification. Fill a needle up with nicotine and mainline away At least it will not directly affect me, unless you drop the hypodermic on the ground like the endless cigarette butts washing ashore on Staten Island……

    • michael

      like cigarettes, many human chosen actions have the potentiality of death: the “it kills” nomenclature can be used accordingly thus, as it is in the phrase “cigarettes kill” : alcohol kills. driving kills. skiing kills, over or under eating kills, etc. the notion that people would be banned to enjoy a liberty in an unconfined public open space, where, as logic dictates, one group of people is denied something the chose to partake in, while the other group is granted a new liberty by taking one away. if we take this to logical conclusion, which inarguably proves how absurd this initiative is (offering no compromise, such as smoking/non-smoking parameters), we would make laws that forced people to go to parks and beaches against their will. bloomberg is an embarrassment to public leadership, and an immeasurably desperate person who plies any measure for self-importance and wanton approval from others. Like a majority of new yorkers, i cannot wait until this man leaves office, and us, alone.

    • otto

      You’re missing the point, Eye Doc. This has nothing to do with the health issues of smoking. If you can’t see that, then YOU need to get your eyes checked!

    • Laslavic

      The democratic free market solution is simple deny coverage for all illnesses attributed to or complicated by smoking…..let the insurance company’s do this and you’ll get that behavioral change over time. Of course liberals would never let insurance companies or more importantly self insured corporations determine premiums or coverage based on things like smoking or over eating because that would be mean and common sense.

    • Kelly

      No one has ever paid my doctor bills. How bout you guys…..anyone paying your doctor bills?…..

    • LEL MN

      I’d like to see the autopsy report for a victim of second hand tobacco smoke.

  • Philip Morri

    This is the USA and people have a right to smoke.

    • A RIGHT?!?

      a RIGHT to smoke?! I guess you answer the question “how stupid can one person be?”

      • s

        You seem to be incredibly stupid. Thanks for setting the bar so high.

        Yes, I have a right to smoke. I’m an adult and cigarettes are a legal product.

        Why is it that libs can’t seem to let people do what they want to do. Why must we always do what the libs insist? For tolerant people, you’re certainly intolerant.


        People have the right to do things that are not illegal. Smoking last I checked was still legal. America is NOT a free society. In America you must pay someone for everything. You think its coincidental that the poorest have the least rights?

      • otto

        Yes, it is a God given right that is confirmed by the U.S. Constitution.

        I guess you were asleep that year in school.

  • Ophelia Roydz

    Wanna see me blow smoke rings outta’ my butt?

  • vengeance

    Bye bye U.S. Constitution … it was nice knowing you :(

    Stupid tobacco Nazis.

    • christian

      Where in the constitution did you read that the right to smoke is guaranteed to all people? I always thought you could do something as long as it didnt hurt anyone else…

      • think

        Well, other people being overweight hurts me through increased taxes for medicare and other public health initiatives. The same can be said for many things. Drinking is proven more deadly than smoking, causes more deaths. Prohibition here we come, unless you like to drink right? Then its ok.

  • mj

    they have gotten so ridiculos bout this . people forget smoking is a LEGAL adult activity. smokers SHOULD have rights too . they pay taxes ( a lot more than most of us) . and no i’m not a smoker .

  • Richard Smokes

    Bus and car fumes are much better for you and your evil spawn. Take a nice deep breath, no, take many deep breaths of that tobacco-fume-free air, filled with carbon monoxide/dioxide, formaldehyde, and liberal/conservative armpit stench. Mmmmmm ……. smells good, carcinoma good to be exact. The lung is a muscle, and like any muscle it needs exercise. Light up and puff ya’ bastids!

    • christian

      hahahaha… the lung is a muscle… really? really? open up a book sometime…


        Lungs are not muscles. They are made up of connective, epithelial, and nervous tissues. The diaphragm is the muscle that contracts and relaxes to expand and relax the chest cavity

    • badman

      the lung isn’t a muscle, and it’s pretty clear that whatever’s in your skull doesn’t qualify as a brain

    • speculator

      How will this be enforced? As successfully as the leashed-dog laws?

    • You_Big_Baby!

      It’s RET@RDS like you that shouldn’t be allowed to vote. if you are dumb enough to think that your lungs are muscles, you might be a moron.

      Please go away!

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