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NYC smoking ban extended to parks, beaches and Times Square

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.  What do you think of the extended smoking ban?  Is it a good thing, or should people be able to smoke in parks?  Click COMMENT to share your thoughts.  Your comments may appear on Eyewitness News!

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I quit smoking years ago and am very glad I did for my health, but I worry that the America I may live to see as a result will no longer be the same free country I grew up in. Freedom to me is being allowed to do what others deem disgusting, immoral, self-destructive... Having to answer for such actions only to the people who care about us, and never to the cold arms of government.


The Fun Nazi is at it again! Is this America? Where we have freedoms? Duh- I mistaked it for communist Russia! I am a smoker and yes it is a bad habit...but i will quit when and only when I am ready. Not because someone else is demanding I see things their way. Enough is Enough! I pay taxes in NY the same way non smokers do and all i would expect is a designated place to enjoy a smoke...and what do we get? We get treated like second class citizens, stripped of our rights. Yes I do believe we need to stand up for our rights and should call Bloomberg on this one ...he is going way too far now.
He is a control freak and some of his rights and demands should be stripped.

Madeline Gaines

All I want to know is are we living in a democracy or a dictatorship?...this is ridiculous every time we turn around there's something else that Bloomburg or the government is taking from us...its not all about the smoker or non smoker its about our rights as people. cause although the non smokers agree with this decision what happens when one of their right get taken from them?...then they wont feel the same way they're feeling about this decision. this man has his hand in everything salt sugar cigarettes schools and etc...no one is trying to take away his right to keep blowing smoke out of his behind on a daily basis...
there are more pressing issues that concern us the people...u have rats riding on trains with us and pot holes ruining our property and closing our schools and condemning our children before their lives even start...I say take care of that and stop worrying about and taking the things that are not really big issues...I wish I had the power to speak out aloud about all the things that are going on and actually get results....what ever happened to of the people for the people and by the people?...this is just another thing that shows when you give anybody too much power they run a muck....this needs to stop before they bring about an up rising of the people....


I for one am thrilled. There is nothing quite as revolting as walking around on the beach looking for a spot to lay my blanket that isn't covered with cigarette butts. Where is my freedom to expect a clean beach? I have to pick up after my dogs and gladly do so. I completely understand why someone doesn't want to step in dog waste. Smokers believe the world is their ashtray.

Kim Matthews

While we all can agree that smoking may not be the best "vice" to have, to continually single out smokers is unconstitutional. They are taking one specific group of people and putting a law into effect to punish only that group. The NY City Counsel is trying to legislate their personal feelings in the guise of the public good. But let's face facts, second-hand smoke does not cause all the health problems everyone complains about. Do some people really believe that a "whiff" of smoke from a person walking next to you on the street will give you cancer? Or that a person smoking across a park from them is detrimental to their health? PEOPLE....YOU ARE OUTDOORS!! You should be more concerned about what you are breathing from all the traffic or the smells from the various rivers, or the food you eat and the water that you drink. Everyone needs to take a step back and use some common sense. If everyone who smokes, quits, where will that money come from? It will come from YOUR POCKET!!


This is just another form of discrimination. Pick a group and pound them down until they don't feel like human beings anymore. Why not put us all in prison and be done with us altogether???


Next they will try to tell you you can not smoke in your home and your car and you are paying for this I think it's time the smokers need to take New York Politicians to court there in violation of there constitutional right's and if they want to picket and march as a former smoker I will march with them

John  -  from   Suffolk

I don't understand why polititians have to make and vote for laws without consulting and hearing the public's opinion before making their laws and without our votes.
If they are against smoking, then why not stop the publicity of cigarettes, drugs, liquors, and all the other atrosities people watch in movies shown on TV? Maybe because there wont be enough money coming in to the State if people don't pay all those differnent cable companies to watch them.
Therefore, I'm totally against the new so called "Smoking Ban Law." Everyone should have the right to do what they please, even smoking, the same way other stuff is being done and gets done.

James P. Gaffney

I smoke and I realize it's a dirty and unhealthy habit. But nobody talks about air pollution, the thousands of cars, trucks and buses on the streets of New York pumping tons of toxic fumes,including deadly carbon momoxide, into the air and lungs of New Yorkers. Clean Air Technology is great but engine exaust is still deadly. Smoking bans in enclosed spaces should be enforced, but don't fool people into believing that someone smoking a cigarette on the street is killing them.

Morena  -    from  Long Island

In 2002, NYC outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants. That's why I stopped going to those places, and like me, I'm sure there's millions who also stopped. Plenty of cash lost.
As for Christine Quinn, she says smoking kills, but what about the smoke coming from cars, factories, buildings, and what ever else you can think of. Those things are what's killing the American people, not smoking. I thought I lived in a democratic country but I gues I'm wrong - this is turning to be a communist country. This was supposed to be a free country, therefore, we should all do what we want as long as we respect and who ever don't like walking along a smoker, just take another route. What they should really banded are those walking in the streets showing there underwear or allowing their dogs shit all over other people's path. I just hope they don't tell me I can't smoke in my own house because then the state will be supporting me when I quit work. And finally, don't forget that:
profit = cigarette + tax ; what the state is earning with us smokers.

Anthony B

I think the Ban on Smoking is excessive. Parks,and Beachs are one thing because of the children. Times square i dont understand why the Ban there. its the tourist center of the world. The ban i feel will make people disintersted in coming into the city. Now for the rest their should be a ban on smoking at bus stops near any subway stairs outside tranist property. Near any large clientel propertys such as school building, business buildings, police stations, fire houses, public libearys. According to the US constitutuion 5th amendment no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". According to Merriam-Webster Liberty is "the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges". I beleave before today and still that it is a right to smoke in public and this infringes our 5th amendment. If the city of new york and i mean us the people that pay taxes should feel the same way should build facilites for persons to smoke in a isolated area from the general public. Lung Cancer Kills but so does drunk driving. more extensive restrictions should be on alcoholic beverages.


Ridiculous! With all the illegal drug use and corruption taking place in the city, all the lawmakers can think to do is ban smoking just about everywhere in New York City. Shame on you, you can't win the war on drugs, to you pick on smokers. I'm from Connecticut and I loved visiting New York - I may even take one last trip to "The Big Apple" before this ban goes into effect - just to say goodbye.

Adrianne Brandon

hip, hip, hooray many years my daughter was burned by a passerby walking with a lite cigerette its about time no more nasty sand on the beach.

Donnamarie LaTempa

The ban is a little scarey to me. It is about rights and freedom. Everyone is blaming "the government" but we are the government. It seems if we don't like a right or freedom we can take it away even it's legal. What's next?


I thought we lived in the famous USA, lasnd of the FREE and the Home of the brave. It is funny that the government can tell us how to raise our kids and now where we can smoke. You are outside in the city of pollution ,but thats not being stopped. you are thinking of closing 13 more schools, so lets shift our kids around. Real nice, our school system is of most importance and our government is finding smoking to be more important. Where is the right of the people? Last i've known this did not change. very very sad that the kids are suffering with their education.You cant learn wit more than 18 kids in class.

Michele A. Barrow

How far is society going to go? As Adults we should be able to make our own decision to smoke or not to smoke. I have a right to smoke if I choose to do so. I do understand that non smokers concern with second hand smoke but I don't understand how we can take away the right's of other's. I want city and state govenment to stop taking away my right to think, choose and make decision for myself. So you or I might not like smoking. Well' cross the street or move away or ask the person if they wouldn't mind not to smoke near your child, but don't tell me I can't.

michael bildhauer

well if they want to ban smoking in the parks beaches and couble other places.how they stop people from drinking in the parks on the beaches.they want to put taxes on the cigarettes then spend it on the other stuff.this going hurt new york city with poeople will spend in the city to have a good time.


I think that inside a bar or close establishments is OK but this is all politics,breathing the air in this city for me is the same thing, the air here is not the purest air is polluted enough so was the deal with this? This is just another scapegoat from the politicians trying to get more taxes....people will get tire of prohibitions in this city and when the well gets empty what they gonna prohibit??? I just think Is a bunch of bull.....

Phil Steel

Umm...Smokers can't smoke in the parks, beaches and Time Square. Does the mayor know the the average car at the 'average' Traffic Light gives off the cancer causing agents of not ONE cigarette, but of a PACK (20 cigarettes for you non-smokers). Thus Mr. Mayor, if you or your citizens that drive have 5 lights going to office of work and 5 returning home, you have just treated New York City to the cancer causing agents of A ENTIRE CARTON. I use the bus or trains (causing less polution and transporting more than a average car) and a pack last me TWO DAYS. Your driving will do that TEN FOLD in ONE DAY!! Maybe Mr. Mayor you would be better OUTLAWING PRIVATE CARS than the smokers that cause alot less!! I think the smokers will band together and cause a 'class action lawsuit' against the city. If you are going to remove one cancer causer, you MUST REMOVE THEM ALL.


Politicians should worry about more important issues like education and public safety instead of bullying citizens with "their" laws. I'm not a smoker but if people choose to smoke, then it is their God given right to do so. For those who don't, they have the right to walk away to where there is no smoke. What's next? Ban drinking, eating, breathing? When is enough enough? Politicians (Bloomberg Administration) are making NYC more of a dictatorship city. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to change the name to BLOOMBERGVILLE. I used to once say with PRIDE that NYC was the best of the best to live in. Now I'm ashamed to call myself a New Yorker. It's time for NYer's to tell these politicians where to go.


Smoke where you please! If they have to pay almost $12 a pack and pay taxes smoke on, smoke on!

 Joseph Jones

Look this is crazy.I am reading some of these comments and I am discussed.I read one comment that said if they don't smoke why should they have to smell it. Well I fought in a war so it would be safe to say that if you didn't fight for this country you don't have a right to say anything. what happen to move away from the smoke huh? This is against my Constitution right to be able to smoke where I want to. That's why I fought for this country. To protect others right and my own.

john esposito

I have not heard any doctor state that second hand smoke actually does cause cancer. It may contribute to some kinds of respiratory problems, but so does everything in our enviroment.


As a non-smoker I think that if cars can be in the city then people should be able to smoke. They are outside if it bothers you move. If we ban smoking what's next. If people have to pay taxes on cigarettes they should be able to smoke them outside. I'm an asthmatic and think this ridiculous.

diana gilbert

i wonder why smokers are being targeted so severely in this country and especially in this state. my second hand smoke might take 30 years to kill somebody but a drunk driver will get in a car and kill an innocent person in a minute. i think there should be more attention being paid to correct the major alcohol problem in this country


As a former 40 plus year 2 1/2 pack a day smoker I never realized how this was affecting my husband and now adult children all the years they put up with me. I've been been smoke free now for 6 years this coming July and now realize how the smell of smoke nauseates me when someone just walks by me smoking a cigarette. I thank goodmess that they made the cost of smoking so high in price that I decided to quit using name brand lozenges that I stood on for 3 months at 4 mg. I am now smoke free and do not miss smoking one bit anymore and I apologize to my family for all the years of misery and a smelly smoke filled house.I now side with non smokers and realize why they can't stand the smell .

John Georges

I wholeheartedly agree with the lawmakers. I grew up in NYC with smokers blowing smoke in my face. Some of them are dead now and others wound up with lung cancer. Not a fair price to pay for being ignorant and blowing off what doctors have been saying for years, "Don't smoke!"

Young children should never learn what smoking is. It's glamorized in the movies and on television. Who is Joe Camel or Marlboro really helping. A silent corporation that profits off of death maybe. That's about it!

Smokers do not have the right to smoke wherever they want as two or three idiots whose comments I read stated. When your loved on gets lowered into a coffin after years of torture through lung cancer, get back to me on what right's smokers should have. People like me are trying to protect all of you and expand your lifelines.


I guess the backyard will be next! People come on! Veto this one and I don't even smoke.


Kim, John, Marta and others who feel this ban is great - I say this is this is America supposedly the land of the free. As a non-smoking asthmatic I think this is ridiculous. People are smoking outside the biggest pollution makers are cars why not ban them from the city and see what happens. If the smoke bothers you move which is what I do. If smoking is banned "what's next?"



Robert Lane

I am a smoker. I think everyone is blowing this way out of proportion. I should be able to smoke outdoors anywhere. The Smoke at leased goes up in the air, to my knowledge it does not harm the atmosphere. If people have a problem with it walk away. I have my Freedom to smoke.

Michael S

At some point in the future, smoking will be classified as an addictive disorder/disease. Consequently, those afflicted persons will be afforded the protection of rights under the American Disabilities Act. So what was the point? There may also be a right to pursue happiness issue here - after all non smokers pay less taxes than smokers who pay a smoking tax. Who should have more rights in public areas? This is one hot mess and a lot of fun for lawyers. New York has become a police state. I miss the nasty old NY. At least that place and time had a character, a face, a voice, and a heart.

Kim M.

I might be the minority here, but I agree. As a non-smoker, there is nothing worse than walking behind or next to someone in Times Square or in the Park who is smoking. Their smoke invades my space. Not to mention, it will help eliminate the butts that litter some of NYC's most popular places to visit for tourists.

John S

Excellent! Smokers are morons, smoking is the dumbest thing people can do, and the more bans the better! If you want to destroy yourself, go nuts, but I don't want to breathe it. You complain that a smoking ban makes you less "free" or that you have no "rights" - don't I have rights or the freedom to not breathe your stink? Smokers are so dumb that they let someone else convince them it's a good idea...and then they get mad when they can't do it. Sounds like a temper tantrum to me.


What happened to people having rights? All our rights are being taken away. This is no longer the land of the free, unless of course you are a foreigner. My husband and I work very hard and get taxed and punished for trying to support our family, but if i was a foreigner I wouldn't have to work to pay rent, have health coverage, cloth and feed my children, the state gives it to them for nothing. But I can't have a cigarette, which I pay for, the state taxes, and I enjoy after a hard days work?


I'm glad. Not fair for non-smokers to inhale 2nd hand smoke. If smokers want to damage their lungs they should do it where they don't bother other people that want to be smoke free.

Linda  DeLuca

First of all you're outside where the wind blows the smoke away. Who the hell is Government to dictate what people do, next they'll be telling us when to go to the bathroom, what clothes to wear and how much makeup a woman can and cannot use. This is a democracy which is turning into a dictatorship. Try getting the drug dealers off the streets. I have the right to do what, when and where.


The government takes tax revenue from cigarettes and alcohol. How be it that when smoking is banned in a majority of places that the government can maintain the amount of revenue it expects as the population of smokers reduces?

The matter is not relegated to smoking and drinking only. These are just the places where least resistance is encountered.

The simple fact is that vice= money and the government is taking a cut.

Christine Galvin

I Do not agree with this!!! The last time I looked this was America!!! You have taken away all smokers rights in New York already. Wait for our next set of elections and see How many of The Officials that voted for this ban Get reelected into Office!!! I may be a smoker but I Do still have rights. What is next No Smoking in my own Yard???

maryann kohrherr

I think it is ashame these lawmakers have nothing else better to do. Instead of doing something about the drug dealers or guns pick on the people who enjoy smoking.

Jennifer Barger

If the city wants to ban smoking in the city, then they should also ban driving in the city because cars make more pollution to the air than cigarettes do. Smokers should be able to smoke where they want, the only place I agree with is in parks with children.

Kerri Rodriguez

Ok I get banning smoking in parks, but beaches and times square? Last I checked this is America land of the "Free". these politicians want to tell me where I can smoke but they have no problem spending the money and extra tax I pay for cigarettes. Smoking is a personal choice but this is out of control.

Douglas L

As a NON smoker I am absolutely flabbergasted at this overstepping boundaries of personal liberties. I support the indoor bans and would support limiting smoking in certain limits outside office buildings but we don't have the right to limit a person's right to smoke in an outdoor setting. As a Non Smoker I am able to avoid most situations w/those who smoke...my personal choice.
NYC would be better served limiting smoking in residential shared accomodations.


this is ridiculous what's next can't smoke in your own back yard.

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