Smokers in New York City have one more irritation to contend with, as the sweeping ban on smoking in parks, at beaches and even in some pedestrian thoroughfares has gone into effect today.
Under the new law, scofflaws could be fined $50 for their surreptitious smokes. However, Mayor Bloomberg says cops aren’t going to go hunting for renegade nicotine addicts, and will rely on other New Yorkers to enforce the law by being those people who ask you to put out your cigarette:
We expect that the new law will be enforced mostly by New Yorkers themselves, who will ask people to follow the law and stop smoking. This is how similar laws have worked in other places, including Chicago and Los Angeles… New Yorkers are encouraged to inform a Parks Department employee or a Park Enforcement Officer if one is available. Otherwise, complaints can be made by calling 311.
While it might make the city less smoky, the ban also stands to make New York a far crankier place. Disgruntled smokers may turn to smokeless products, such as Snus, or the relatively-newish electronic cigarette, which gives users a nicotine boost without smoke, tar or ash.
Will the smoking ban affect you? Have similar bans been enacting where you live?