July 7, 2010 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Tuesday, July 6th that he was leaning toward seeking a ban on smoking at city parks and beaches. (See Background below on October 1, 2009 the mayor indicated he was pushing ahead to get this done)
Mr. Bloomberg said the ban made sense because it would cut the health risks of secondhand smoke and reduce littering by smokers.
“We’re talking about banning smoking on beaches and in parks, and it’s partially because you can breathe the air,” Mr. Bloomberg said when he was asked about a ban. “It’s in the open air, but the air wafts in your direction. But it is also because people take their cigarette butts and the packages and just throw them away.” “When you ask people in our parks and beaches,” he added, “they say they just don’t want smokers there.”
Background:The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said Tuesday that smoking was the leading preventable cause of death among residents, killing 7,500 New Yorkers per year, more than AIDS, drugs, homicide and suicide combined.
September 14, 2009 - The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, announced on Monday, September 14, 2009 that the Bloomberg administration would seek to ban smoking in city parks and beaches. (New York City - may ban smoking in parks and beaches...
October 1, 2009 - The mayor initially hedged when Health Commissioner Thomas Farley proposed the ban last month, saying enforcement would be difficult. But now Mayor Bloomberg says he's pushing ahead with a controversial plan to ban smoking at city parks and beaches, after earlier saying it needed more study. (New York City - Mayor Bloomberg pushing ahead to ban smoking in city parks and beaches..)
He said a smoking ban would be the equivalent of bans on loud radios and glass bottles on beaches, and could save millions of dollars in trash cleanup.
Dr. Farley cited a health department study, published online in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research in April 2009, that found that 57 percent of nonsmoking adult New Yorkers had elevated levels of cotinine, a marker for smoking, in their blood, compared with 45 percent nationally. The researchers, who sampled New Yorkers in 2004, a year after the city’s ban on smoking in most indoor working and public spaces took effect, said the density of city living might be to blame. (More Than 2.5 Million Non-Smoking New Yorkers Have Residue from Toxic Second-Hand Smoke in their Blood, Press Release, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 48/2009)
References; Mayor Leans Toward a Smoking Ban at Parks and Beaches by ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, The New York Times, 7/6/2010; Stop turning the beach into a 'giant ashtray,' cigarette smokers told by Mark Morales and Katie Nelson, NY Daily News, 7/6/2010.
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