When the Health Department first announced a plan to ban smoking in public parks and beaches run by the city, Mayor Bloomberg seemed caught off guard, and backed away from a full ban, saying, "Our Police Department has enough to do. They can't be going around giving tickets [for smoking]."

But speaking to the Bay Terrace Community Alliance last night, the Mayor expressed a new commitment to the idea, telling Queens voters, "The public is overwhelmingly in favor of banning it in parks as well. So, you know, we'll get that done." It's unclear how Bloomberg knows the public is "overwhelmingly in favor" of the ban, but still, it would be nice to see the city's beaches look a less overwhelmingly like ashtrays.