First they came for the smokers in bars and restaurants, and we said nothing—we simply enjoyed breathing air without carcinogens. Now the Mayor is coming for the smokers on park benches and beach towels, and we're still saying nothing! As part of an ambitious new public health initiative, city health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced that the Bloomberg administration would seek to ban smoking in all city parks and beaches. Public health advocates like Dr. David A. Kessler are elated; he tells City Room, "The issues with secondhand smoke are very real and the majority of the population today doesn’t want to be breathing in tobacco smoke, whether indoors or outdoors." Farley says the proposal to proscribe cigs may require the approval of the City Council, and health department spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti tells Bloomberg News that officials haven’t yet devised "a specific strategy for reducing smoking in parks." But if cops can be as militant about busting smokers as they are ticketing people for public drinking, we're sure this'll be a big cash crop for the city.
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