NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A year ago, New York City banned smoking in its parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas. Officials say the ban had been effective, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

READ MORE: New York City Announces First-In-The-Nation Vaccine Mandate For Private Companies

While you will still see tourists lighting up in Times Square’s pedestrian plazas, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told Diamond that smoking in city parks is way down.

“Smoking in parks is now down two-thirds and we now have less litter at our beaches and playgrounds,” Farley said. “People don’t like their beaches to become ashtrays.”

The results were based on observational studies by the Health Department at 13 parks in Manhattan in Brooklyn.

READ MORE: Having Trouble Getting A COVID-19 Booster Appointment? CBS2 Is Here To Point You In Right Direction

“People, for the most part, do obey the law, and there are signs there that say [there’s] no smoking in parks,” Farley said. “Also, other people at parks may remind someone who is smoking that ‘Hey, it’s not allowed here.'”

For those who haven’t gotten the message, the city will begin running ads about the ban starting next week.

Despite the city’s crackdown in most public places, smoking-related illnesses still kill 7,000 New Yorkers each year, Diamond reported.

MORE NEWS: Fire Officials: Powerful Winds Blow Jersey City Building Under Construction 5-10 Feet Off Foundation

What do you think of the park smoking ban? Sound off in the comments section below.