New York City to pursue smoking ban in parks, beaches

08:32, September 16, 2010      

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans on Wednesday to expand the smoking ban on New York City beaches and in city parks.

The effort, which followed the City's 2003 ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, was also hailed by health groups on Wednesday. Council members plan to introduce the anti-smoking bill Thursday. It has to go through committee hearings before the full 51-member council can vote.

"The science is clear: prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke -- whether you're indoors or out --hurts your health. Today, we're doing something about it," said New York City Mayor Bloomberg.

Critics of the proposal argue that smoke dissipates quickly outdoors.

U.S. states and cities from Maine to California have banned smoking in public parks and beaches, but New York City is pursuing one of the most ambitious urban efforts.

The city has 14 miles of beaches and about 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities. And smoking is already prohibited in playgrounds, outdoor sporting events and concerts, as well as at bars and restaurants.

In New York state, 10 counties have adopted smoke-free policies for their beaches and 34 have adopted smoke-free policies for their parks.

Source: Xinhua


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