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New NYC Law Bans Outdoor Smoking

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed a law Tuesday that will ban smoking in many public spaces. The law will take effect in May. Violators would be fined $50.

The law bans smoking in city parks and beaches, as well as pedestrian zones like Times Square. The city already has smoking bans in place in bars, restaurants and office buildings.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the rules would make those public spots "healthier places than ever. I encourage those still smoking to take this opportunity to quit smoking today."

Bloomberg said, "Smoking in parks and beaches not only harms people trying to enjoy these recreational facilities, it also causes a litter problem that harms the beauty of our parks."

He added, "Cigarette litter is difficult and expensive to clean up and is a hazard to children, pets, and the environment. Cigarette-related litter accounts for 75 percent of all litter on beaches and 33 percent of all litter in parks."

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