New York smoking will be harder to do with the new ban on outdoor smoking. New York has proposed an idea to ban outdoor smoking in public parks, and beaches. The new smoking ban will include New York Times Square and Coney Island boardwalk. In 2003, smokers in New York were banned from smoking in bars, restaurants and some apartments. Many factors have been in play for this ban and the response is divided.
New York has decided to pursue this ban because of 2007 study about secondhand smoke. Stanford conducted a study that showed that a non-smoker that sits in an area of three feet of a smoker outdoors exposes the non-smoker to the same about of health consequences as sitting inside with the smoker. This is the health reasons behind the ban. The City Council is also stating litter for the reasons behind banning outdoor smoking. Within fifteen minutes of collecting cigarette butts from the beach, they collected about half of a sand bucket full of cigarette butts.
The benefits of the smoking ban would include the health benefits. The Stanford study shows that sitting too close to a smoker can expose you to harmful secondhand smoke. Because the Times Square and Coney Island Boardwalk is so crowded you may not be able to avoid being in such a close distance from a smoker. Therefore, you could expose yourself to harmful containments without you knowing it. Although cigarette litter is not the only litter found on the beach, eliminating some of the litter will be a help. This will give the city the chance to focus on other litter. The fine for smoking inside the public places is proposed to be $50. This money would help with city projects.
Smokers are still citizens that enjoy the parks just as anyone else. Therefore, limiting the places where they can smoke can lead to limiting their rights to enjoy these parks. On some of the plazas, the boundary lines are not very clear; so a smoker could be within the plaza and not realize it. In this situation, they are not trying to expose others to their smoke. Putting more limits on where smokers can smoke may discourage some visitors to the town. Some smokers may not want the inconvenience of having to find some place that smoking is ‘allowed’. The limits on smoking areas may decrease the amount of cigarettes bought in the city and decrease the amount of money that comes from the tax on a pack of cigarettes.
The response by New York citizens has been divided. Some smokers are so used to be banning by the 2003 act that they hardly have noticed the idea of the outdoor ban. These smokers have also said that it may help them quit if it is harder to smoke. The non-smokers are grateful for the concern of their health. However, one group called the New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment says this is discrimination against smokers. They have launched a video on their website that shows that the beach has plenty of air to breath that does not include the harms of cigarette smoke. They also compared the amount of litter they could gather in fifteen minutes showing that most of the litter on the beach is other things that do not involve cigarettes. They believe that public places are public and there for they should have the right to smoke there and that there is no reason why non-smokers will not have clean air even with smokers sharing the same space.
New York City’s proposed outdoor smoking ban will be the toughest in the nation. Big tourist attractions will become a non-smoking zone. There are many reasons why the city wants to do this, and the response by citizens is clearly divided.