When we talked with smoker's rights activist Audrey Silk about the new ban on smoking in parks and beaches the former police officer told us that "you can't enforce it. As a police officer I am telling you right now it is unenforceable from the NYPD's point. This is feel-good legislation so they can say 'I've done this.'" And would you lookie here, on WOR this morning Mayor Bloomberg said pretty much the same thing.
"The police will not be enforcing this. That's not going to be their job," Bloomberg told a caller to his WOR-AM radio show. "This is going to be enforced by public pressure." Because as any smoking high schooler will tell you, nothing works like peer pressure!
"On the beaches there's some Parks Department people" to keep the butts off the beaches, Bloomie continued. "But mainly it's just everybody's going to turn to you and say, 'Hey, you shouldn't be smoking.' And you know, most people listen to that."
For what it is worth, Silk's organization NYC CLASH is planning a public "smoke in the park" event for this spring (more info to come), so we guess we'll see just how interested the NYPD will be in enforcing these rules soon enough.
Meanwhile, in other smoking news, the Times is reporting that an increasingly large number of medical institutions have graduated from having no-smoking policies to having no-smoker policies. "Applications now explicitly warn of 'tobacco-free hiring,' job seekers must submit to urine tests for nicotine and new employees caught smoking face termination." We're living in a brave new world people.