Has NYC Gone Too Far By Banning Smoking In Parks?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The smokers of New York huddle in phone booths, hurry down cold streets and hover at office-building doorways during breaks, puffs of smoke giving them away.

They are an endangered breed. Their numbers shrinking through loss of habitat, come summer they will have even fewer places to light up as a ban on smoking in parks, beaches and public plazas goes into effect — including Central Park and swaths of tourist-packed Times Square.

Smokers have yielded as places to puff have diminished over the years, but many of them and even some nonsmokers are saying the city has gone too far this time. Health experts disagree on the hazards of a whiff of smoke outdoors, and critics argue cigarette smoke is just one of many nuisances to contend with in a crowded city. They also question whether the city is trampling on civil liberties.

“I think they’re getting too personal,” said Monica Rodriguez, smoking a Newport at a phone booth near a pedestrian plaza south of Times Square. “I don’t think it’s OK. They’re taking away everyone’s privileges.”

Even Whoopi Goldberg spoke out against the ban on national television, noting shortly after the City Council approved the ban that inhaling exhaust fumes from the city’s fleet of taxis and buses isn’t exactly healthy, either.

“There should be a designated place, and I’m tired of being treated like some damn criminal,” said the co-host of ABC’s “The View” during the show’s Feb. 3 broadcast. “If they’re really worried about the smell in the air, give us electric buses, give us electric cars, and then I’ll understand.”

The city health commissioner, Thomas A. Farley, said the ban is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable, such as asthma sufferers who are susceptible to respiratory attacks from exposure to secondhand smoke; children who might pick up smoking after seeing adults with lit cigarettes. It’s also meant to reduce litter.

But most of all, he said, it was about ensuring that the city’s 14 miles of beach and more than 1,000 parks were free of the nuisance and open to all.

“Parks and beaches are special places that anybody should enjoy,” he told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

The City Council approved the bill Feb. 2; the mayor has 20 days to sign it. A separate bill that would have set aside smoking areas in parks did not pass.

Those who break the law could face fines of $50 per violation. But instead of active enforcement, the city will rely on signs and social pressure, said Jessica Scaperotti, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg.

“We expect that this will be primarily self-enforcing,” she said. “There is a lot of public support.”

She pointed to a 2009 Zogby poll commissioned by the New York City Coalition for a Smoke-Free City that surveyed 1,002 residents over landline phones and showed that 65 percent supported a smoking ban in parks and beaches.

The measure continues a nearly decade-long effort under the mayor, a smoker-turned-anti-tobacco crusader, to reduce smoking through public policy.

The cornerstone of his administration’s strategy has been an indoor smoking ban in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants. In 2010, the city issued 85 violations to bars and clubs that flouted the ban, the Health Department said.

The city has also tried to snuff out smoking by raising taxes on cigarettes, helping the price of a pack soar to $11 or more; through a public education campaign that has featured grisly images of diseased lungs; and by offering free nicotine patch kits for smokers to help them quit.

The Health Department argues that its tobacco-control strategy saved an estimated 6,300 lives between 2002 and 2009, mostly from a reduction in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer. The smoking rate dropped 27 percent during the same period.

But the department says smoking continues to be the city’s leading cause of preventable death. A city study published in 2009 found that residents are exposed to more secondhand smoke than the national average, he said.

The hazards of secondhand smoke are well-documented. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no safe level of exposure. But how secondhand smoke contributes to environmental hazards outdoors is an emerging area of study.

Dr. Michael Siegel, an expert on the public health effects of smoking who testified in support of the city’s indoor smoking ban, said science may not support the idea of smoke-free beaches and parks.

“I disagree that there is a scientific basis for banning smoking in wide open outdoor spaces where people can easily avoid exposure,” said Siegel, who works in Boston, where the City Council is proposing a similar ban. “Some of the health groups have been exaggerating the evidence.”

In one of the few published studies on outdoor tobacco smoke, scientists at Stanford University said in a 2007 paper that smoking outdoors might be considered a “hazard” or “nuisance,” including when “eating dinner with a smoker at a sidewalk cafe, sitting next to a smoker on a park bench, or standing near a smoker outside a building.”

“If one is upwind from a smoker, levels most likely will be negligible,” the authors wrote.

With such strict bans, the tobacco-control movement may be in danger of losing its credibility, Siegel said.

“The public is going to just think of us as these zealots who want to ban smoking everywhere,” he said. “It’s going to make it even harder to pass legitimate smoking regulations in states that don’t currently have them.”

The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation counted more than 450 municipalities with policies of smoke-free parks and more than 200 with smokeless beaches, including Los Angeles.

And there are signs that anti-smoking ordinances could get tougher in the future, with some communities extending bans into private homes, especially apartment buildings where secondhand smoke can permeate into other units. In New York City, especially during the summer, places like Times Square and Central Park get packed with humanity, making exposure to secondhand smoke a distinct possibility.

On a recent winter day in Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan, a few hardy souls braving the cold gave the ban a mixed review.

Katie Geba, 19, said a smoke-free park would be a blessing.

“I don’t like the smell of it,” said the college student, reading a book at a table in a patch of sunlight. “At the same time, (the ban) infringes on your right to do what you want to do.”

Monika Solich, 31, of Queens, said she could understand banning smoking in enclosed spaces like bars and restaurants.

“But this is an open space,” she said, incredulous, as she sat at a table, smoking a Marlboro and sipping coffee.

“I mean, what’s next? Ridiculous. Where are they going to ban next?” she said. “There should at least be an area for smokers where we can smoke.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • ryan

    People’s rights to poison others and throw their dirty butts on the ground?
    Not sure if that’s looking out for the greater good…

    • John McNeil

      The 1964 Surgeon General’s Report stated unequivocally that nicotine addiction was equal in strength to heroin addiction. A subsequent report in 1988 concurrred. In short…whether you smoke or chew tobacco you are undeniably an addict. Sadly, the industry and media have perpetuated the euphemism “smoker” to downplay the situation. (After all…if people were constantly referred to as addicts rather than smokers…how many would continue? The government hasn’t helped much as they have a huge tax base built around the tobacco industry and its ‘parasite’ side-industries.
      We wouldn’t allow alcoholics (alcohol addicts) to indulge in their addictions in public…and it’s only sane and right that nicotine addicts are treated likewise. Children must be helped to view addicts as socially unacceptable.

      • p133ed off

        It’s your duty as a parent to teach your children what is right and wrong and NOT the governments responsibility.

    • p133ed off

      I guess you hold your breath 24/7 and never drop anything on the ground.

    • Extra Ordinary Larry

      Adolph Hitler was also looking out for what he believed to be the greater good as well.

  • lorene

    This began with Guilliani, the anti-Christ, when he first got into office, he resurected an old ‘cabaret law,’ banning the patrons dancing in bars. We were leary about what he was doing then, but now we’re sure, it’s called ‘the boiling frog affect,’ you place the frog in cold water, then begin turning the flame up, little by little, so Froggie won’t notice he’s being boiled to death. Whose air were those dancers polluting? Welcome to the new world order, my friends, the fun is just beginning. Ah, but, I forget, a lot of you seem to like being told what to do and when to do it.

  • curious

    how many smokers voted for bloomberg??

    • Bernie Sanders

      not me i cant stand him … id vote for a duck b4 i waste my vote on him !

    • lorene

      Is this a knock knock joke?

    • p133ed off

      Voted for him the first time because I thought he could clean up city government. But definately did NOT for for the king the last time.

  • Smokity Smoker Smoke

    Bloomberg has gotten out of control. He’s taking public issues personally. Why is this turd burglar still in office? I am 100% against this farce of a ban.

    • badman

      completely disagree with you but admire your style

  • p133ed off

    I was at an out door cafe and was about to light up when I was told I could not smoke there. So I got out of my seat and stood behind it and was able to smoke.
    If you smoke and go to a park,find the upwind side of the park and smoke like there is no tomorrow.

    • U92

      P133ed off – Thanks. We need people like you to keep the bans coming. If all smokers were polite, considerate, and reasonable we’d have to stop passing them! I just wonder why you work so hard to encourage something you so obviously detest. If I were a smoker who didn’t like bans, I’d be doing everything in my power to make them unnecessary, instead of giving those making them even more validation for their actions.

  • Roger Mattingly

    I think eating and drinking should also be banned in the parks. I get so fed up with seeing the bits of popcorn that have been tossed to the pidgeons. And, I also think whistling should be banned . I get really tired of hearing happy people express themselves. What really annoys me the most is when I see people smiling in the park. I think they obviously have mental problems and need to be banned. In fact, I don’t want to see anything or anyone in the park doing anything that I don’t like.

    • Dr Hardy

      Trouble is, the things you mentioned don’t make people sick (or give them mental problems)!

      • Bernie Sanders

        i dont think people should eat in public at all its nasty ! have you seen some of these people they eat like they are going to the chair !~

    • THOMAS


  • kds

    Hopefully the next mayor will the the b a l l s to roll back many of this draconian laws passed by King TurdBerg and the city council which he bought and owns. Make sure not to vote for mini-me, Chistine Queen, she is TurdBergs yes woman and wannabe next in line for the throne .

  • Kat B.

    Where is there left to smoke? I am not a smoker myself, but this ban on smoking in public places will bring the pigs out, everywhere, like no there’s tomorrow!

  • mi_ro

    NYC starts to suck!
    it’s like living in 1984 :) big brother knows better.

    well, I have some experience on how it is to have a BB watching over your shoulders and punishing you for stepping outside the line.
    so will you, in the near future, it is just a matter of time. anyone who will not comply with regulation will have to pay :) good luck with that..

  • Stacy

    Absolutely NOT too far. This should happen in every city across the country. SO happy to hear this news. Smoking is disgusting.

    • Bernie Sanders

      and whos to say you are not disgusting … i am sure you have some things that makes you not perfect .. and I am sure you annoy peopel in some way .. no one has the right to tell you what to do …. NO ONE !

      • Rick smith

        You tell ’em bernie i completely agree with you

      • badman

        I, for one, will say that Stacy is not disgusting. She’s right. And Bernie, no one has the right to tell you what to do? really? Is that the excuse you use to molest little boys?

        frigin idiots on this BB

    • Dr Hardy

      Yeah, I agree 100%!

  • Robert A B Sawyer

    Here in a City, where I’m more likely to inhale floating fecal matter and pulverized Chinese dry wall, than second-hand smoke, I find this a particularly intrusive bit of legislation even by the Lilliputians standards set by our City council.

    We owe this idiocy to our diminutive, self loathing Mayor, who, believes that only he deserves his pleasures,even if consumed unobserved behind security details and out-of-camera range on his house in Bermuda.

  • jack

    i want to outlaw fat people. I am tired of paying increased health premiums for this group. Also lets outlaw fast food joints. They are slowly killing us.
    We need to outlaw everything not approved by this facist government that stole our right to live and let live.

  • PB

    I like to smoke a pipe about once a week. When they ban that, scotch and golf I guess I’ll have to find another “free” country to live in. Ashamed I have served this country for nearly thirty years. Most of that time I have spent overseas. It’s a shamed to come home and find that the “freedom” that I have fought so hard to defend is just a myth.

    • Extra Ordinary Larry

      PB – this is probably the best damn comment in the thread !!

      • badman

        yep, god bless our boys overseas protecting our god-given right to smoke tobacco in public places. what a crock. PB, anyone that REALLY served this country wouldn’t trivialize their service by waving it around over a public smoking ban. you’re a fraud and an insult to those who have really served and sacrificed for our freedom.

    • ALan

      I think you should be ashamed of yourself as a human being for caring so little about others that you would choose to force them to breathe your disgusting and dangerous secondhand smoke to satisfy your own drug addiction. How about my freedom to breathe clean air?

      • 1608

        ALan if it because of people like PB you have rights, have some heart.

  • joey the music man

    Ban it all day!!!!

  • Ron

    Rudy Giuliani started this B.S. with the infringement on folks’ basic enjoyment of life in NYC. It’s time to stomp on the breaks!

  • Andy (Anti-Smoking) Summers

    There is no such thing as a respectful smoker! Put them all in one room and let them smoke themselves to death. Smoking in public places affects people that do not smoke….period! What’s not to comprehend here! If your a smoker you you should lose your rights, why should I have endure your smoke just to walk by you? If I’m drinking do I inflict any un-comfort on you? No, not until I’m wasted and run you down on the sidewalk. Get a clue……….Smoking is disgusting, how would people know who smoke, can they in fact detect smoke on their person and appreciate it’s enduring qualities and vibrant odor!

    • lorene

      So, take public transit to work, will you? We’re tired of breathing in your car fumes.

      • emh


  • jleno


  • Dan

    Here are my observations on smokers:
    They are either mentally ill or foreigners.
    Think about it. A mentally healthy person does not smoke because they are self aware and know it will kill you.
    And foreigners are; well just foreigners. They don’t know any better.

    • cindy

      Very narrow minded Dan ! Only 2 reasons why people smoke ? Maybe they are trying to control their Ulcerative Colitis. Many people use cigarette smoking to treat Ulcerative Colitis. It has been studied tons of times and always proven. Google cigarette smoking and Ulcerative colitis and see the studies. For some people there are no other medications that work. I would like to ban people w/ an uninformed opinon that speak out and anyone that takes medication in a public area in NYC. Health in NYC ? Why not start with the lazy overweight people that break the laws already on the books like double parking to go get their pizza etc. Common sense.

      • badman

        Cindy, you and the 4 other people out of 8 million in NYC that smoke for ulcerative colitis are grandfathered. OK? now go away.

    • bill

      Dan u r an idiot
      I bet u like that alcohol though
      To each his own abd shut up

      • Dr Hardy

        Oooh, who is telling whom to “shut up”?

  • R.A.

    I consider my self a “respectful” smoker, I do understand that we annoy non-smokers but there are people that annoy me too, I understand my addiction and I do compare it w/ food addiction and it has helped me to tolerate over weigh people, I say to myself that if I have not been able to quit smoking; I cannot judge other people’s addictions. The cost of over weight related illnesses is far, far heavier to the health system than the smoke related ones. I do not like when there is an empty seat by my side on the subway and a huge person that clearly does need more than one seat (clearly for everyone else but he or she..), squeezes in and crushes me and the passenger at the other side. (I would ban the wear of lycra garments for obese people, ( I know is good I have not that kind power) I do not like to see over weight children and most at all, I cannot stand the pointing fingers at the school system, at the junk food chains, at the soda companies; at any one else but themselves. It bothers me when people scream talking to each other or at their cell phones on the bus, on the subway or in the street, seriously some people’s voices may be cataloged as lethal weapons. Also bothers me to see kids wearing their jeans below their buttocks, showing out their underwear and walking like monkeys to keep the jean for falling down… I do not like people who trashes the city, I do not like rude people, ignorant-arrogant people, anyhow; I have a long list of things and people’s behaviors that I do not like but, but I am sure I do many things that annoy others. It does not matter if I try to do my best, I do not have a car so I do limit my pollution share to my cigarettes consumption , I pay my taxes, try to be a good citizen, a good person, a good professional, but I smoke and I wish I could quit, I am week and it is now a very very bad thing in the City.

    • Andy (Anti-Smoking) Summers

      There is no such thing as a respectful smoker! Put them all in one room and let them smoke themselves to death. Smoking in public places affects people that do not smoke….period! What’s not to comprehend here! If your a smoker you you should lose your rights, why should I have endure your smoke just to walk by you? If I’m drinking do I inflict any un-comfort on you? No, not until I’m wasted and run you down on the sidewalk. Get a clue……….Smoking is disgusting, how would people know who smoke, can they in fact detect smoke on their person and appreciate it’s enduring qualities and vibrant odor? And you call yourself intelligent?

      • Smokity Smoker Smoke

        Say, Andy, stop copy/pasting the same thing and come up with something new to add to the discussion you ignorantly unoriginal ass.

      • Alan

        Andy, you are absolutely 100% correct. As a non-smoker I can detect smoke outdoors from about 75-100 feet away. If I can smell it, that means I’m breathing it in. I’m hoping the ban in parks is just a step towards banning it citywide outdoors. I’m actually annoyed at Bloomberg because he took too long to do this.

  • kds

    The anti smoking numbers put out by TurdBerg are all made up, just like everything he claims.

    • lorene

      He used his money to change the law that says NYC mayors can only run for two terms, what do we expect? This guy’s a small island dictator.

      A lot of us live here because we are not conservative, it seems to me that Midwesterners should stop trying to change NYC into Iowa, just go back home, already. We won’t miss you.

  • Jo

    I find this to be a violation of my personal rights. When I go into a grocery store and these elderly women practically bathe in perfumes, I have a breathing problem, when a place uses a strong cleaner it chokes me and causes me to gasp for air. Is all this going to be banned?? Same with Doctors offices and the air freshners they use. I feel that goverment is trying to run our lives and take away any rights we have. What will they as a group go after next? Liquor or junk foods or maybe gambling? If we allow them to do one thing as this, another item will follow until we have no rights at all. People need to wake up and put a stop to other people deciding everything according to their wants.

    • lorene

      True dat. Unfortunately, people never seem to see it until it affects them directly. I hear Bloomie’s trying to get a no-texting ban on the sidewalks through…I can’t wait to see the uproar from that! There is no telling where this will end, but it won’t be good for any of us.

  • Extra Ordinary Larry

    Ha ha ha … all you anti-smoking nazi’s would really love me. I don’t smoke cigarettes – I smoke CIGARS – real aromatic ones too :)

    Stop on over to my place and you can taste & smell tobacco the way it was meant to be. If I see you in the park, I’ll be sure to blow some smoke your way :P

    Brothers of the Leaf, baby !!!!

    • Carl Zukoski

      you tell it like it is Larry !!! I’m real fond of Havvana seed stogies……….

  • mike

    My girl gets sick from the smell of perfume, she gets dizzy and nausea’s when people where it. Can we ban this too?

  • Privremeno

    One bus releases more dangerous gases in one day vs me smoking for the rest of my life! Let me not even start comparing Trucks, Construction Equipment, Airplanes, building #6 boilers, your cars, lawnmowers… Welcome to the new world order or should I call it as it is “Stalinism & Leninism”.

  • houari

    I completely agree with the ban. If people who smoke don’t feel the pain they can cause to others it’s their responsibility to think about it. Many non smokers were victims to someone who smokes near them. When are people gonna learn?

    • lorene

      When are you going to stop believing everything they tell you? Check out the article in Scientific American, crica early 90s, saying how unlikely it is to get sick from second hand smoke.

    • Extra Ordinary Larry

      Well, let’s wait until the government comes and bans something you enjoy and feel it is your right to do. Then we will see if you are singing the same tune.

      Too many people missing the point here.

      Too many people have never read (or understand) the US Constitution & Bill of Rights.

  • http://masonjefferson.wordpress.com Mason Jefferson

    masonjefferson . com words move nations

  • John Boy

    Don”t tax a product that you don’t allow people to use. Very simple, stop the Billions Taxes and let the runners, tree hugers, et all pickup the loss in revenue.

  • CommonSense

    The law doesn’t go far enough. The habit is disgusting and lethal. All smoking should be banned. Everywhere.

    • melody

      i think people like you are disgusting.

      • John

        I agree with melody. People like “CommonSense”, which I doubt truly applies to him or her, are disgusting with their sanctimonious attitude towards smokers, a priggishness that somehow never seems to apply to their own less than appealing habits or traits.

      • badman

        CommonSense may be disgusting, but your smoker’s breath is worse.

  • r. nail

    ok so support is considered 650 people out of a population of 6 million
    which comes to a miniscule fraction of somewhere around one ten thousanth of 1 ONE PERCENT of the population of the 5 boroughs of nyc were in favor of the law to pass. wow and i don”t even smoke…. so what’s all this I hear about this democracy stuff. oh, that’s right we’re a republic that wants to democratize the world so they can have a voice in public policies. so either the academy award goes to….. or i am SO confused.

  • Hubert Hernandez

    Smoking is a disgusting habit that is unhealthy. Why anyone would want to smoke is beyond me. Why anyone who smokes now wishes to continue smoking knowing what we know about its health risks is beyond me. People, light up your minds, not your cancer sticks. Your hearts will thank you and so will I.

    • Extra Ordinary Larry

      Not the point, Hubert. It is an issue of personal liberties and the continued destruction of the US Constitution. The government is overstepping its bounds here. It seems that many things may be “beyond you”.

      • badman

        give us your enlightened legal insight. Larry. where in the constitution does it specify smoking as a personal freedom? pretty obvious that any serious discussion of constitutional law is “beyond you.”

  • Joemama

    “But most of all, he said, it was about ensuring that the city’s 14 miles of beach and more than 1,000 parks were free of the nuisance and open to all.”

    “Except for you damned, dirty, stinkin’ cigarette smokers!!!”
    F U and your civil rights is want Mayor Blunderberg says.

  • Steve

    I don’t smoke,never did and hate smokers blowing smoke in my face and realize how harmful it is. But let’s give smokers a break. If they want to kill themselves by smoking, let them. It’s no big deal if they smoke outside; it doesn’t really harm us, the nonsmokers.
    It’s the cigarette butts left on the beaches and sidewalks that annoy me and cause a litter problem. Let’s fine them for littering, not for smoking on the beach and in parks.

  • Robert

    Talk about the dumbing of America! I read an article that a jogger who jogs around Central Park for an hour breathes in the equivelant of a carton of cigarettes. This is from the pollution. Hey Americans, when you are in a parking lot and people are starting their cars, how much pollution are yopu breathing? Why don’t our concerned Government go to gasohole? Because the guys who own the oil fields own the government. The bottom line is “nicotine interfares with the action of prescription drugs”! The guys who own the Big Pharma, who own the Big Banks we just baikled out, also own the media and the prostituted governments.

  • Ziomek

    Hahaha New York Ghetto Citi :P

  • Mari

    People’s rights and smoking have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Smoking is a habit someone decides to start. Maybe it is somewhat extreme to ban it in Central Park and Times Square though. They are both open spaces…outside for goodness sake and there are plenty of areas to move around and not be subject to cigarette or cigar smoke. Where is the sense in banning smoking in an open space…? We’re more at risk because of vehicle pollution, which was previously mentioned,than anything else…. I absolutely hate being around smokers, when they’re smoking, so if they can have their own, closed section, like in airports, there’s no harm. They can relish in their smoke.

    • John

      Really? So when I see you open a Snickers, a bag of potato chips, go into a pizza shop, feed McDonald’s to your children, drink a diet (or regular) Coke, or any of the myriad things you do (even if you don’t do any of the above) that are also not healthy and certainly a choice, if I (or a group of my city council members) decide that it’s not healthy for you to do and fine you for it, you’re going to be fine with that?
      I suspect not….then it will certainly become an issue of personal rights, and not just a “habit someone decides to start.” You make decisions every day that are not healthy decisions, but because these decisions don’t have the stigma (YET) that people have forced onto smokers, no one is coming for you and your habit or choice. Again, YET.

      • badman

        yeah, really. and if while I eat my Snickers you let me fart in your face, then I understand your moral outrage. if not, then suck it up and realize that smokers are finally the pariahs they should have been all along.

  • Undecided

    I’m undecided on this issue, but the article was pretty biased against the ban. In addition, every argument that was made against the ban was pretty dumb. Saying things like it’s just one of several pollution hazard sin the city doesn’t mean that it should be left alone. You tackle one thing at a time. Keeping cigarettes out of parks should make everyone healthier, even the smokers, but perhaps the best strategy is to continue raising prices.

  • Vic Redtail

    I think the city has gone too far with this smoking ban. I wonder how many people that have voted “YES” in favor of the ban drives a car, use taxi cabs or air planes to travel like the mayor. These vehicles and planes dump tons of toxic vapors on the city on a daily basis. And since the mayor is so health conscience, what is he and those that voted “YES” going to do about that?


    They should ban smoking on the city’s sidewalks too. There’s nothing worse than being stuck walking behind a smoker on the sidewalk in New York. You can smell and inhale the smoke down the entire sidewalk, and it’s disgusting, but smokers don’t seem to care about all of the other people who have no choice but to share in that smoker’s disgusting habit / addiction, simply because they are walking down the street. BAN SMOKING ON ALL NYC SIDEWALKS.

  • Finally!

    I fully support this ban. If you’re outside in the park enjoying yourself, why do you have to smell someone elses decision to smoke? There have been so many times when I’ve ran around Central Park only to suddenly stop and start choking due to people smoking near where the runners are. Your decision to smoke shouldn’t effect the people around you that don’t smoke. I understand that some people are upset that their civil liberties are being threatened, but non smokers who feel ill from the smell/don’t want to be around cigarettes, finally get their civil liberties back.

    • Unreligious

      Might have a little sympathy for you if the runners ever showed any consideration for anyone else. They expect everyone to move out of their way. They run in the bike lanes. They wear headphones so they can pretend not to hear anyone else and therefore ignore everyone else.

      • Finally

        I generally used to run on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and people would smoke there…that’s pretty much a runner/walking/work out space.
        But it’s not even about working out, if I’m at the park, I want to experience some form of nature, not cig smoke.

  • NYC

    Hitler is in power

  • Patrick

    Has a plaintiff ever won a case in court suing a defendent that a person was killed because of second hand smoke? If the city would ticket the litterers of cigarette butts, it would most certainly give the smokers a kick in the “butt.”

  • Les


  • Michael Sedgley


    • Tracy

      Tea party Teetotallers? I support most of the tea party agenda and nowhere have I seen anyone want to establish one religion over another. I believe you’ve been watching too much mainstream media. Most tea partiers want the Constitution’s checks and balances used as our founding fathers intended. Precisely, so we don’t end up as a socialist or communist regime.

      • lorene

        There is more than one kind of regime. Like the kind where 1% have all the power and money.

  • Vic Redtail

    I think the city has gone too far with this smoking ban. I wonder how many people that have voted “NO” in favor of the ban drives a car, use taxi cabs or air planes to travel like the mayor. These vehicles and planes dump tons of toxic vapors on the city on a daily basis. And since the mayor is so health conscience, what is he and those that voted “NO” going to do about that?

  • Jackson

    I completely agree with Laura-Jo and Marie H Heyne. Enough is enough.

  • Morgan

    Dont want people to smoke??? Solution is SIMPLE! STOP MAKING CIGARETTES!

  • Laura-Jo

    When I started to smoke a pack cost .50! Now it’s $10.! The teachers and the students had a smoking room in the school. There were ashtrays at the dentest, and doctors office, and in the hospital. People smoked after they ate even at McDonalds. In the movies both on and off the screen.
    I can see making “THE SMOKERS’ go out side but please enough is enough with the regulations.

    • nom

      i agree 100% its becoming a commnuist regime

      • stephen

        If they are so conceren (the city) why not just stop the selling of cigs.. or treat it like pot. I am a smoker and this is getting crazy. I do understand the non-smokers but dam!!!!!!!!!

  • Marie H Heyne

    There are some fools out there, you know who you are, who think that smoking should be banned even in your own bathroom with the fan on, yet, those very same idiots will run along the west side highway, lungs wide open and blame smokers for their cancers, they live in high rises in big cities, open their windows for “fresh air” and blame smokers for their cancers. I am so sick and tired of those very same people voting for policies to abolish the rights of AMERICANS who have their rights currently being peed on. I can understand not smoking in restaurants, although that was a beautiful thing. I can understand not blowing smoke in babies faces, but parks and beaches??? get real. or move to the mountains where the air is trying to stay clean in spite of your SUV’S, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You shop at whole foods, you dine at cute little restaurants. I am a former smoker, and not because of your ridiculous policies and attempts at control.

    • lorene

      Lol…so true. How ludicrous it is to move to NYC and complain about second hand smoke. Who is kidding who? It is all about CONTROL, let’s face it.

  • J. Kalloo


  • PO'ed!


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