New York City Seeks Ban On Smoking In Parks
New York City is looking to follow California's initiative and ban smoking in parks and on beaches. It has been illegal to smoke inside public buildings In New York City since 2003.
The proposed smoking ban is part of a larger plan to improve residents' health over the next three years, according to New York City health commissioner Dr Thomas Farley. The city also plans to implement rules that would help people lose weight as well as decrease drug and alcohol use. The smoking ban of 2003 is credited for reducing the rate of smokers in NYC from 21.5% to 15.8%. The city hands out free nicotine patches to people who want to quit smoking.
If the proposed law is passed, it will become illegal to smoke along 14 miles of coastline, as well as in 1,700 parks. The proposal is available to read on page 10 of a 44-page long pdf.
“The issues with secondhand smoke are very real and the majority of the population today doesn’t want to be breathing in tobacco smoke, whether indoors or outdoors,” Dr. David A. Kessler, who was commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997, said in a phone interview. “While undoubtedly some will think this is going too far, 10 years from now, we’ll look back and ask how could it have been otherwise. It’s not only us, but our kids in these parks and beaches.”