Updated 02/22/2011 07:22 PM
Bloomberg Signs Legislation Expanding Smoking Ban
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation into law Tuesday that bans smoking in many public spaces around the five boroughs.
Under the new law, smoking will be banned in the city’s 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches. City pools and recreation centers will also be smoke free.
The bill bans smoking in city pedestrian plazas, like in Times Square, as well.
Violators could face a $50 fine. However, in the past, the mayor has said that the city will rely more on signs and social pressure than enforcement.
The goal is to reduce secondhand smoke and trash. But those who spoke with NY1 earlier in the day in Union Square were split as to whether this new legislation is a positive thing for the city.
"There's a lot of kids and all that second-hand smoke, it's killing everybody so I think it's a good idea," said one New Yorker.
"Sometimes you are walking, other people smoke and they blow the smoke in your face, so that's not good," agreed another.
"A lot of smokers are starting to get a little upset about it, because we abide by the rules, we don't smoke in bars, we don't smoke in restaurants, but when does it stop?" asked a third. "Are you going to stop everything? We're going to police everything now?"
"I like to sit in the park and smoke, enjoy my food and relax," concurred another. "The park is an open area. Where is the pollution? It's all open air. What's wrong with sitting in the park and having a smoke?"
No opponents of the measure spoke at the bill signing.
The City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure earlier this month.
Smokers will still be able to light up on sidewalks next to parks, squares or public places. Parking lots are also okay.
The law will go into effect in 90 days.
The city already prohibits smoking in playgrounds, outdoor sporting events and concerts, as well as at bars and restaurants.
After signing the smoking legislation, Bloomberg also approved a law that aims to improve crash data.
For more information on the newest smoking ban, go to nyc.gov.