NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York City parks commissioner Adrian Benepe insists the city is committed to keeping new smoke-free zones smoke-free.

“Our enforcement officers are out there telling people not to smoke and everybody’s obeying and if they don’t obey, we’ll give them a ticket,” he said on Friday at an event on Randalls Island.

Just one ticket has been issued since the law took effect on May 23. It banned smoking in all city parks and pedestrian plazas as well as on all city beaches.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On Randalls Island

That ticket was issued to a newspaper photographer.

“That’s because people simply obey. When we say ‘put out the cigarette or leave the park’ they do it,” he said.

“We haven’t seen that,” replied WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

“You know, I haven’t seen people smoking in the parks,” said Benepe.

“Some people are being defiant,” said Diamond.

“Well, if they’re being defiant, they can be jerks. If somebody wants to be a jerk, they can be a jerk,” said Benepe.

Right now, it appears education is the goal.

“We don’t want to raise revenue this way,” said Benepe.

The Parks Department says 700 smokers have been given warnings.

“We’re going to rely on peer pressure. The other dog owners, when they see someone who doesn’t pick up after his or her dog, they say ‘pick up after your dog, don’t be a slob,'” said Benepe.

Benepe says if someone lights up, parkgoers can help by politely pointing the smoker’s attention to the no smoking signs.

What do you think of the new ban? Let us know in our comments section below…

Comments (10)

    This is all so redIculous. Dogs are more important than people in NYC.
    Cleaning up dog poop is one thing but what about all the doggy urine?
    It stinks, kills grass and flowers and you let you children run around and lay in the grass – as do many adults. Your doggy urine is exposing children and adults alike to all sorts of germs and illnesses. WHY HASN’T ANYONE ADDRESSED THAT ISSUE?

    1. brandi797 says:

      Urine is sterile my friend. Only one disease is spread from dogs to people through urine (leptospirosis). Get over it.

  2. Jay says:

    YEA! Happy they passed this ban, so tired of smoke blowing over into my face while sitting on a park bench or lying on the beach trying to be calm and enjoy nature, also great to not see filthy cigarette butts lying all over the park grounds and beaches. I have actually stepped on burning cigarette butts before that some idiots throw into the sand, while walking in the sand at Coney. Damn that hurts. Smokers are just filthy, rude people, don’t care about anyone but themselves. Hope this law is enforced and smokers learn to be decent people.

  3. Musician says:

    I find NYC to be boring.Visited it about a year ago on business after not visiting the city for many years. It is hard to understand why New Yorkers stand for this, let alone any of Bloomberg’s schemes. It’s not just the smoking ban, but the city has lost its “attitude”, which is something I always liked about NY and made it unique. Now it is just “everytown” and has no personality.

    The Big Apple has a rotten core and it’s your mayor and his flunkies.

    1. Jan says:

      You don’t live here you have no right to an opinion. Twenty years living near Central Park, this city is awesome and Mayor Bloomberg has done great keeping this huge city in great shape, he has done such much for this town people don’t have a clue. We’re petrified worrying who will be next and they’re going to mess up what Mayor Bloomberg has done for this town. If he could be mayor for three more terms most would keep votong for him. Only idiots who don’t have a clue would say otherwise.

      1. Chris says:

        I live here and this law is freaking ridiculous. It’s one thing to deliberately blow smoke in another’s face. It’s quite another to just walk by. I even wait to exhale until I pass people so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities. If I want to enjoy a cigar OUTSIDE, I will. Get over yourself.

  4. Audrey Silk says:

    Once again the analogy (those that try to compare smoking bans to other things) suffers fatal flaws. Benepe’s comparison would be a litter one if anything. It’s not like no one can bring in their dog, they just have to clean up after it. The proper analogy would be for people to be telling smokers, “Pick up your butt.” But with the smoking ban, one can’t even bring in their “dog” (cigarette). So spare me the false emotion-seeking comparisons.

    Also there isn’t a crusade going on against dogs — banning it everywhere and stigmatizing owners. When a segment of society has been bullied to death there’s going to be an absolutely different result from being “politely” told what to do by a bunch of city deputized vigiliantes. So again, NOT the same thing.

    If a “jerk” is someone who will not take being discriminated against based on lies and hatred, then I’m proud to wear the tag “jerk.” You’ll find me smoking in every park I might happen to visit.

    But please everyone stop antagonizing them and let this fade off into the sunset like it never existed like it was meant to be.

  5. marbee says:

    Bloomy’s attempt to create Utopia, like those who have tried before, embraced same sex marriage, socialism, Marxism, and communism too before withering. They clearly never worked, or we’d all be perfect by now. Maybe he’s watched Avatar a few too many times. Lets just say I hope he and his law that have our founders rolling over in their graves, funded by the medical mafia dissolves, disbands, goes kaput, and falls into ruin or there won’t be anyone safe, because these well-heeled idiots always hate ordinary mankind. It’s just unfortunate that people keep voting for them.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I think an outdoor ban is ridiculous. I also think a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars is absurd since all businesses had a choice to go smoke free to begin with. We have been flooded with propaganda from progressives, the ACS, ALA about second hand smoke. When people wake up to the junk science that is being shoved down our throats this insanity will come to an end.

  7. HistoryBuff says:

    I think so much of it that I am staying OUT of NY. I’ll spend my money elsewhere.

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