NYC seeks to ban smoking in parks

Sept. 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Smoking should be banned in New York City's public parks and at beaches, the city's health commissioner says.

Thomas Farley announced Monday he could move to ban such outdoor smoking through existing legislation or an administrative rule change by the New York Parks Department, the New York Post reported.

"We don't think children, parents, when they're standing at soccer games, should have to be breathing in smoke from the person next to them," Farley said after appearing with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to unveil the city's 10-point anti-smoking plan. "We don't think our children should have to be watching someone smoke."

Bloomberg said part of his initiative to make New Yorkers healthier includes "glaring" at people gathered outside buildings to smoke.

"Social pressure really does work," the Post quoted Bloomberg, himself a former smoker, as saying.

An effective ban across the thousands of acres of New York's parks may be logistically impossible, a Bloomberg spokesman said, but added, "There may be areas within parks where restricting smoking can protect health. We will continue to explore this."

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