There are many states that have put laws into place regarding where you are allowed to smoke a cigarette at, including New York. The smoking bans are put into place to protect the non-smokers while out in the public such as in a building or restaurant. Recently, New York City, New York has considered pushing the smoking ban to new heights.
The New York City, New York smoking ban expansion would include banning outdoor smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas. According to CBS News, this new smoking ban is warranted because of the non-smoking population and the effects of secondhand smoking to their health. A person who is exposed to secondhand smoke will often have levels of cotitine in their system, which is the byproduct of nicotine. The levels of this chemical in the body can still pose a health risk to people, even to those people who do not smoke. The secondhand smoke you get from outside is often comparable to levels of secondhand smoke you might be exposed to indoors. The concern is that even smoking outdoors will pose a serious health risk for those people who do not smoke just by the smoke in the air. The new smoking law would need to pass the City Council before it is approved and it would give the parks department power to issue tickets. The quality-of-life violations are similar to a panhandling offense and the person violating the law would get a 50 dollar ticket. There were many factors considered into this possible ban on outdoor smoking including the study on levels of secondhand smoke and the levels of cotitine in a non-smoker. The levels of the cotitine are elevated in about 57 percent of nonsmoking people in New York City, according to the city’s health department. People also seem to think that by decreasing the locations someone can smoke, it will lead them to stop smoking.
The positive aspects of this ban are that people would be able to go into the parks, without thinking they will have to sit next to a smoker. The ban would also eliminate the waste and littering in the parks associated with people putting out their cigarette. You can always tell what places allow smoking because you will see ashes and butts of the cigarette lying on the ground. This ban will help clean up the parks and outside venues of New York City, New York which can help tourism. People will also feel like they can take their child out to a park without having their child exposed to the harmful secondhand smoke. A lot of parents do not like their child being around someone who smokes because of the potential health risk. This ban will eliminate the need for people to be as cautious when it comes to where they go outside in the city. The ban is mostly going to just make the parks look better and have a higher air quality.
There are many negative aspects of the smoking ban in the outdoor areas of New York City, New York. One negative aspect of the smoking ban outdoors is that it is kind of infringing upon personal freedom. In this country, you have the right to do anything outside that you wish, such as lighting up a smoke while in the park. Telling a group of people they can not smoke outside is a bit ridiculous given this is a free country. The parks and outdoor areas are part of the public, so that means that people have the right to smoke if they wish. Considering you are outdoors, the risk of getting high levels of cotitine in your system is low. Banning smoking in public parks really infringes on the right of the people and the freedom we have in this country. People often do drugs and drink in the park or outdoor areas, so I would think that is more of a concern than a cigarette. Instead of worrying about whether or not someone is smoking, people should worry about whether or not others are doing heroin intravenously around children. A lot of bad things go on in parks and outdoor venues that are much worse than smoking, which is something people forget. It is also kind of dumb because of the fact if you do not smoke, then you do not have to stand by someone in the park who does. If you are in the park then all you have to do is just leave that area and go somewhere else if you do not want to deal with secondhand smoke. No one is making anyone stand next to someone who smokes; people have the right to move to another area.
A lot of people are for this ban in the ideology but realize that people have the right to smoke if they want to. Most people feel that this is just another way to take away personal freedom of choice, regardless of the effects of secondhand smoke. There has not been a great deal of research done on effects of secondhand smoke outdoors, so people are a little reluctant of the outcome. It seems like a lot of people also understand that it is a public place which means people are entitled to smoke in those areas. Smoking outdoors is something a lot of people do and unless you are smoking right in someone’s face, they will not have elevated levels of cotitine in their body. Ultimately people are pretty much split as far as who supports this ban and who opposes this ban. People who do not smoke are often the people who see this as a good idea but the people who smoke see this as just another limitation and way for the local government to make money. You can not force someone to quit smoking by increasing taxes on cigarettes and limiting the amount of places they can smoke. If someone really wants to smoke then they are going to smoke, whether or not you take away the locations they are allowed to smoke in public. If people were so concerned about the health of other people and smoking, then more money would be set aside by the state to help people quit. Getting more money to treat nicotine addiction and making stop smoking aides cheaper are the appropriate measures to take. Hiking taxes and giving out tickets to people who smoke is not the problem and a non-smoker does not understand this.
Aina Hunter, “New York Smoking Ban: Parks, Beaches, Outdoor Plazas May Soon Be Off Limits”, CBS News