NYC smoking ban extended to parks, Times Square

February 3, 2011 3:25:34 AM PST
Lawmakers have voted to extend New York City's smoking ban to parks, beaches - and Times Square.

The ban approved Wednesday by a vote of 36-12 is one of the most ambitious outdoor anti-tobacco efforts in the U.S. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says the new law will save lives and make New York a healthier place to live.


The smoking ban will cover some 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches plus boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas. It goes into effect 90 days after Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs the bill; the mayor has 20 days to do it.

A law banning smoking in New York City bars and restaurants went into effect in 2003.

Backers of the ban say even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can pose health risks.

Many smokers say the law will infringe on their rights.