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Will City Council OK parks smoking ban?

Smokers, start looking now for a new summer smoking spot. The City Council is expected to pass a bill today to ban smoking in the city’s parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces.

Smokers, start looking now for a new summer smoking spot. The City Council is expected to pass a bill today to ban smoking in the city’s parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces.

Smokers could lose the ability to light up in 1,700 parks — from benches in Central Park to folding chairs in Times Square’s pedestrian plazas. A City Council spokesman said a vote today — and an expected mayoral signature — would create the law ahead of summer.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer told Metro the law would protect New Yorkers in close quarters from second-hand smoke, especially children. “We live next to each other, we go to the park together, the beaches,” she said. “It’s a health issue.”

Park police will enforce the anticipated $50 fines.

Teddy Rojas, 23, from Queens, said the ban would be one more knock to smokers: “It’s bad enough you can’t smoke in a restaurant.”

Manhattan resident Alan Katz, 45, said the city was stripping public access he paid for with taxes: “Anywhere outside should be free rein.”

 
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