City considers extending smoking ban beyond NYC parks

The New York City Council is considering a bill that would prohibit smoking on a sidewalk or bench near a city park or playground.

Councilmember Sandra Ung, who represents the 20th Council District in Queens, introduced the bill last week that bans "smoking on sidewalks immediately adjoining parks, imposing civil penalties for violating such prohibition and increasing civil penalties for smoking in parks," according to the legislation.

Ung proposed that first-time offenders receive a $50 fine and "$200 for each subsequent violation committed within one year of the first violation."

NYC's Smoke Free Air Act already outlaws smoking any substances, including e-cigarettes and marijuana, near hospital entrances, in parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas. This new bill would essentially expand this no-smoking zone.

The bill is already facing criticism from Brooklyn Councilmember Kalman Yeger, who told the New York Post that open drug use in city parks is more of a pressing issue.

At this time, there is no word on who would enforce this ban, if approved.

Fox 5 NY asked New Yorkers for their thoughts:

"Me personally? I don't think it's a nuisance to me, as long as I'm not getting second-hand smoke from it," one person said.

"The public park, people should be able to smoke there. There should be a designated area. You can make an area," another pedestrian told Fox 5 NY

Do you think smoking should be banned near city parks and beaches? Our Insta-poll is live! VOTE HERE!


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