Southern Brooklyn

Parks, Beach Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect Today


As of today, the actions pictured above are illegal.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s newest anti-smoking initiative, a smoking ban extending to public parks, beaches, marinas and boardwalks, kicked into effect this morning, threatening tobacco enthusiasts with a $50 ban if violated.

The extension of the smoke-free air act, covering 1,700 parks and 14 miles of beaches, is the largest anti-smoking measure since he banned cigarettes and cigars from restaurants and bars in 2002, and makes New York City home to some of the toughest health laws in America.

Still, the city has all but acknowledged that there will be little or no enforcement of the ban, absolving the NYPD of ponying up the manpower to scour parks for smoke shrouded villains. Instead the ban will rely largely on self-enforcement, with signs placed to remind visitors of parks and beaches that smoking there is illegal. Parks officials will have the authority to dole out tickets, but, with just a handful of Parks Enforcement agents patrolling thousands of acres in New York City, tickets are expected to be rare.

Even on the law’s inaugural day, it seems plenty are flouting the law. The Daily News sent reporters to city parks and interviewed people smoking cigarettes – even some who agreed with the ban.

Relaxing in Prospect Park, 54-year-old Michael Grant shrugged off concern about the $50 fine, and insisted no one would follow the latest ban.

“It’s ridiculous,” Grant told the Daily News. “People are going to keep smoking no matter where they are. On a day off I just want to unwind, walk around the park, and smoke a cigar.”

Comment policy


  1. I wish that they would enforce this law, but I know that the 61 cops will never do this.  I have seen officers in uniform on the street smoking.  They are not supposed to smoke while in uniform. 

  2.  Bloomberg Needs To Go!!!!! Smokers have rights Just like everyone else!!! We pay our taxes.. We Pay more taxes Thanks Bloomberg with our cigarettes Taxes!!!!

  3. This law is needed and long overdue, especially in congested spaces like pedestrian malls, boardwalks, and vest-pocket parks. But will the law be enforced or, perhaps even worse than non-enforcement, enforced selectively? Clearly, any perceived “right” of smokers to smoke is trumped by the fundamental right of non-smokers to breathe, and this law will, in the long run, save lives and prolong health. But, if people can get away with smoking in restricted areas, many will, so the police and Parks Enforcement personnel are going to have their hands full giving teeth to this new and necessary advancement in public policy.But the suggestion that New Yorkers confront violators can be problematic, as many smokers are already suffering from a form of mental illness, as well as a physical addiction, and could react angrily or even violently. Better to photograph or videotape them and post the results on Facebook or YouTube. There is no expectation of privacy in a public place, and the non-commercial use of such pix and videos, especially of violators breaking the law, does not require the subjects’ permission. Maybe when they, and their non-smoking friends, neighbors,and relatives, see them caught in the act of being a dork, the offenders will get the hint. In life, as in politics, embarassing the guilty is the sincerest form of criticism.

  4. Why can’t they enforce it and smoke at the same time?  That’s what parking enforcement agents do.  They double park just so they can give you a ticket for double parking.  Worse yet, they’ll block you in so you can’t leave before they start to write the ticket. 

  5. Why not ban perfume and cologne, or people not showering, or smelly food, and ban cars, and factories, or how about the government GETS THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE and stops telling me how to live it. this ban is ridiculous, and you KNOW cops are going to abuse the fuck out of it ( i like how the article says “dont worry! it wont be enforced very much!) . “Oh yay! we can serve and protect *meet quotas easier* by giving smokers tickets!” there is always cops on the “cement” walk.

    also FUCK no biking on a sidewalk ticket. FUCK THAT SHIT. fucking adults are such huge babies, and we keep getting robbed by our government. FUCK THIS SHIT! *today’s magic word is FUCK*

  6.  take pictures and videos of people smoking in public? were you picked on a lot when you were a kid. you probably still are and you do not even know it. 🙂

  7. hey, guess what. since its ONLY a 50$ ticket, if a cop came up to me while i had a cig on the “cement”walk id seriously just RUN. make that fucking asshole pig try to catch me first. this is fucking dumb and violating MY RIGHTS

  8. We are becoming a society that divides itself into various camps. In this case, smokers vs. nonsmokers. Many smokers expect the non-smokers to be hostile. The response of smokers is to return perceived hostility. I am sure that a sizable number of smokers will either avoid parks or clandestinely smoke there. If some choose to openly continue smoking without penalty then there will be an increasing amount of disregard for the law. It will parallel the effectiveness of other experiments in social control, such as prohibition.

    It does seem as if the city has set this law up to be a weak cure. Perhaps purposely so.

  9. I really enjoy smoking cigars and have not had one in a while so im going to treat myself this weekend. Im going to take a nice walk on the boardwalk and smoke one. If anyone says something to me i will politely tell them to go fuck themselves.

  10. I will be looking for your name in the paper to find out how it went for you when some mentally ill smoker takes your camera and smashes it over your head.

  11. Wait a minute. Grownups shouldn’t be riding bicycles on sidewalks. I haven’t rode a bike on a sidewalk since I was 10 years old. It’s really a nuisance when people do.

  12. Come on guys, between Markowit-less and Bloomberg, you’re giving us Jews a bad name! Geez, what’s next mayor, gonna arrest me for stepping foot in a park? Oh yeah, they did that one already too. I’m assumed to be a dangerous pedofile so I can’t sit in a playground anymore. What’s next?  “EMINEM, DROP THE HOSTESS SNOBALLS SLOWLY AND COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP”…

  13. I’m a nonsmoker, and I feel like walking around with a lit cigarette to protest this law… There is no proof of second hand smoke affecting health in open spaces. Unless someone is right on top of me, an occasional whiff of smoke somewhere isn’t going to hurt me as much as the aggravation of having Herr Bloomberg as mayor. This is a very bad precedent of overwhelming government oppression. Where it leads is a very scary proppostion.

       We better speak up before the govt totally takes over our life. This government oppression is far more dangerous to the population than second hand smoke in open air.

       From now on, his name should be spelled BLOMBERG, since that spelling is more appropriate. Herr Blomberg was the first Nazi Minister of War…

  14. need a “love” button here.  And don’t misinterpret that guy, I’ve got a girlfriend 🙂

  15. Can I drive my car through Prospect Park while smoking?
    How far out into the surf on our beaches do I need to go to light up?
    Anyone want to bet when/where the first assault takes place?

  16. When I was at Kingsboro a few weeks ago they were wmoking on campus, is this still allowed?

  17. Local Broker right on buddy….I think people need to mind their own fucking bussiness, unless someone physically put their hands on you…mind you I am not a smoker…these son of bitches all they want is our last penny.

  18. We need an organized protest. I do not like this law because it is ridiculous. It is a way of placating anti-smokers who keep demanding that more and more space become smoke free. Few of the politicians will help us; this is Prohibition all over again.

  19. There’s supposed to be a “Smoke-In” on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk on Sat. the 28th.  Anyone know where on the Boardwalk?

  20. They’re just not supposed to smoke while they are in uniform.  My brother was a cop for years, and he’s the one who told me that.  I have seen parking enforcement officers block cars in so they cant leave.  They all seem to be so nasty.

  21. Wow Nick – calm down before you have a heart attack.  We want you around for a long time.

  22. How is Bloomberg able to do this?  Im not a smoker but I know that the tobacco companies have some of the strongest lobbyist.  Like to see a story on how they are reacting.  Not a fan of smokers myself but i cant picture a concrete boardwalk without old folks walking and smoking, enjoying themselves.

  23. Wrong! It’s about civil liberties which are being eroded away. If tobacco is so bad, then just make it illegal.

  24. By that logic, it should be okay for police to kill someone whom they just saw murder someone. It is never correct when a law enforcement official is committing the same crime he supposed to be enforcing against.

  25. No they should use some common sense and courtesy and tell people to move their cars if they are there. If they park illegally and are not in the car then by all means write a ticket. I have received tickets in the past when i was sitting in the car and a cop blocked me and would not let me leave. I beat every ticket. Waste of time and money. Cops almost always abuse their power having a badge and a gun that i fucking paid for.

  26. i dont smoke but come on this is just mayor cheeseburger way of trying to control the city and everything in it i will light one up on the boardwalk and let mayor fatass tell me to put it out there will be a light going out and it wont be from the cig

  27. LOL,… are you saying that Traffic Cops should park their car legally then proceed to writing out tickets?

  28. Mr. Grant, we have no problem with you smoking, and destroying your health if you so choose, we just don’t want to have our health destroyed along with it.

    Second hand smoke kills, you selfish ignorant man.

  29. Chrissy, 

    Just because you pay your taxes doesn’t mean you can harm other people with your noxious cigarettes.  You’re probably one of those people who doesn’t even realize how bad your clothes, hair and house smells.

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