Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Councilmember Gale Brewer announced plans to expand the Smoke Free Air Act in New York City to include parks and beaches.
The new law will now prohibit smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.
In supporting this proposed law, the Mayor and the NYC council cite studies that purportedly show that outdoor tobacco smoke levels can be as high as secondhand smoke levels indoors and asserting there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Also cited is the effect it will have on the city’s beaches, stating that “cigarette butts account for 75 percent of the litter found on New York City beaches. Smoking is also a significant source of litter. Cigarette butts, made of plastic cellulose acetate, can take more than 18 months to decompose and are the primary source of beach litter.”
Proponents anticipate that NYC residents and visitors will follow the new smoking policy on their own. Research allegedly show that 65 percent of New Yorkers favor banning smoking at outdoor recreational places such as parks, ball fields and playgrounds. As with any quality-of-life issue in City parks, however, a violation summons may be issued by the Parks Department.
For those who wish to oppose this legislation, we at Cigarreader.com encourage you to email the mayor here.