Kicking the Habit: NYC Bans Smoking in Public Spaces

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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

It’s lights out for New York City smokers this summer.

The city council voted Wednesday to ban smoking in parks, beaches and other outdoor public spaces, extending the current ban inside restaurants and bars. After Mayor Bloomberg signs the bill, it will be in effect after 90 days. New York will become the third city, following Chicago and San Fransisco, to ban outdoor smoking.

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“This summer, New Yorkers who go to our parks and beaches for some fresh air and fun will be able to breathe even cleaner air and sit on a beach not littered with cigarette butts,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Opponents of the bill claim they are less pro-smoking, than anti-government expansion: “I truly believe government is being too restrictive in this particular matter,” Harlem Councilman Robert Jackson said.

Enforcement of the bill will be in the hands of the park rangers, rather than police officers. The friendly rangers will distribute a warning before issuingĀ  a $50 fine.

(More on Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t care if you smoke pot.)

Watch out New York City, now that the Mayor has legislated against salty foods, sugary drinks and cigarettes, all vices are at risk. (via Yahoo News)