The territory controlled by the embattled Federation of Cigarette Smokers is being steadily whittled away like the formerly Grand Duchy of Luxembourg—it's only a matter of time before the city's last remaining smokers are reduced to a postage-size plot of land in a back yard on Staten Island, which they'll bitterly occupy on a time-share basis in dreary smoking shifts. Today Mayor Bloomberg is announcing the expansion of NYC's smoking ban to the city's 14 miles of beaches and more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bloomberg had seemed reluctant to go along with the prohibition when the idea was first floated by Health Department commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, but apparently he's come around. The ban will require City Council approval, but that probably won't be a problem; as the Post notes, Bloomberg will be joined at the announcement by Council Speaker Christine Quinn. No details have been released in advance of the press conference, but one unidentified official tells the Daily News there will be some exceptions, which we suppose will permit smoking in designated areas one mile offshore.