Cigar Aficionado

Bloomberg Warms Up to NYC Park, Beaches Smoking Ban

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week that he's leaning towards banning smoking in the city's 1,700 parks and other public outdoor recreational spaces, as well as its seven beaches.

"We're talking about banning smoking on beaches and in parks," Bloomberg said last Tuesday at a news conference, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. "Overwhelmingly, when you ask people in parks or on beaches, they say they just don't want smokers there."

Bloomberg's stance comes as a bit of a surprise since only a month ago his press secretary, Stu Loeser, told reporters that the outdoor smoking ban was "not something we're moving on."

The ban was first presented to Bloomberg by his appointed health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, on May 18 of last year as part of a broader anti-smoking strategy outlined in a document titled "Take Care New York 2012."

The strategy also includes ideas to raise local, state and federal tobacco taxes and urges city businesses and organizations to reject funding and sponsorship from the tobacco industry.

At the same press conference, Farley said that City Council would probably have to approve the smoking ban before it could become law.