Smokers banished outdoors by New York City's 2003 smoking ban may soon find much of the outdoors off-limits for lighting up as well, the New York Times reports. The city's health commissioner said yesterday that he plans to push for a full smoking ban in all the city's parks and beaches, winning praise from health advocates and anti-smoking groups.
"There is no redeeming value in smoking at beaches or parks,” the chief of a smoking prevention group said. “Anyone who has sat behind someone smoking a stogie can tell you that. The health risks are real." Most smokers the Times spoke to, however, felt a ban in parks was going too far. "It’s my legal right to be able to smoke in the park," fumed one smoker in Union Square. "There’s garbage here, people urinating here, it seems there are other things they could work on to improve the park.”