Outdoor Smoking Banned in NYC Public Parks & Beaches

Outdoor smoking has been extinguished in New York City public places.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a ban on smoking in parks, beaches and public plazas.

That would mean no smoking in Central Park, no lighting up on the Coney Island boardwalk and putting the cigarettes away if you're lounging on the traffic-free pedestrian plazas in Times Square and Herald Square.

States and cities from Maine to California have banned smoking in public parks and beaches, but New York is pursuing one of the widest-reaching urban bans. By including pedestrian plazas, the Bloomberg administration also is venturing into territory most anti-tobacco bans leave alone - smoking on the street.

The move is drawing critics who say the city could be trampling on civil liberties. The ban goes into effect 90 days after signing. NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says the law will ensure city beaches and parks are free of smoke and open to all.

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