Group holds "smoke-in" at Brooklyn beach; breaking law

May 28, 2011 3:25:00 PM PDT
They say New York City is trying to take away their rights to puff away outdoors, so they're blowing smoke right in the face of a tough new smoking ban.

A smokers' rights group held a "smoke-in" at Brighton Beach on Saturday.

They openly broke the new law that prohibits lighting up at beaches, parks and pedestrian plazas.

The founder of CLASH or "Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment" says it's about protecting civil liberties.

"This (holding up a cigarette) is a symbol of freedom. Soon you're going to be holding up your hot dogs, your McDonald's, your cotton candy and saying the same thing because they're going to ban that next and if we don't draw the line here, they'll come into our homes and they're coming for everything else," said CLASH founder Audrey Silk.

The Bloomberg Administration says the ban protects people from the ill effects of second-hand smoke.

But this group insists there's no proof that smoking outdoors harms others.

They're planning to hold more "smoke-ins" at city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.