February 2, 2011 - The New York City Council is slated Wednesday afternoon, February 2nd to approve a ban on smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas like Times Square. The legislation marks the most ambitious expansion of the city’s anti-smoking laws since Mayor Michael Bloomberg convinced the city lawmakers to approve a ban on smoking in indoor workplaces and park playgrounds in 2003. (NYC Smoking Ban Debuts Smoking Ban Affects Bars, Nightclubs by Justine Blau, CBS News, 3/30/2003) If passed, as expected, the law will take effect 90 days after the mayor signs it into law.
When this legislation is passed, all New Yorkers will be able to enjoy a walk in the park or a day at the beach without having to inhale secondhand smoke,” said Speaker Christine Quinn when she and the mayor unveiled the proposed legislation in September. ”This bill will save lives and make New York City a healthier place to live.”
Background:Studies have shown that outdoor tobacco smoke levels can be as high as secondhand smoke levels indoors and there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, Quinn and officials in the mayor’s health department have argued. But opponents of the legislation have accused the mayor and the council of infringing on their rights and have disputed the level of risk associated with secondhand smoke.
January 8, 2011 - New York City - expects vote soon on smoking at beaches and park..
October 15, 2010 - New York City - City Council moves one step closer to extending smoking ban to parks and beaches..
August 24, 2010 - Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-smoking crusade could be coming to a city park or public beach near you, a plan plenty of people say crosses the line, reports CBS 2′s Dave Carlin. CBS 2 has learned that Mayor Bloomberg is looking at a possible smoking ban for all city parks and public beaches. The new measure would widen the current smoking ban – in bars, subways, buildings, playgrounds and other public places – to include some 29,000 acres of park land and 14 miles of beaches. (New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still mulling over smoking ban at NYC parks, beaches..)
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. (New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still considering smoking ban in parks and beaches.. - Get It Done Already!!)
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..)
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...
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. proposed compromise legislation that would carve out areas of parks and beaches where people could smoke. But his legislation appeared unlikely to win the day. “It still has a lot of support,” Vallone said. “I’m disappointed leadership chose to move the original bill and not my compromise.”
The passage of the latest anti-smoking bill is a major coup for Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner. He persuaded an initially reluctant Bloomberg to move forward with the legislation last year. “Cigarettes kill some 7,500 New Yorkers every year, and thousands more suffer smoking-related strokes, heart attacks, lung diseases and cancers,” Farley said last September. “New York City’s Smoke Free Air Act has greatly reduced the harm that cigarettes cause to nonsmokers. By expanding the act to cover parks and beaches, we can reduce the toll even further.”
Reference: City Council Readies New Smoking Ban by Michael Howard Saul, The Wall Street Journal, 2/2/2011.
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