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Pol proposes park smoking sections

A Queens city councilman wants to blow smoke on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed cigarette ban in parks, beaches and plazas.

A Queens city councilman wants to blow smoke on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed cigarette ban in parks, beaches and plazas.

Peter Vallone Jr. introduced a bill yesterday to create “smoking sections” equal to 20 percent of any park larger than two acres.

He would nix the pedestrian plaza ban: “I’m not sure anyone even knows where a plaza ends and a sidewalk begins.”

Vallone — a self avowed “health nut” who pointed out that his father, former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. push­ed the city’s first restaurant smoking restrictions — backs the indoor bans but hopes for compromise in the fresh air.

“Smoking sections indoors didn’t work,” he said. “They were like having a urinating section in a pool.”

City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the ban’s sponsor, is looking forward to today’s debate on Vallone’s plan. She said she hoped a ban would not be enforced through punishment, but by New Yorkers reminding smokers it’s not allowed.

“I don’t want anybody to get a ticket,” she whispered into her cell phone from City Council chambers ... admitting cell phones calls are banned there.

“There are other outdoor places where people can smoke without setting an unhealthy example for the children around them,” said Susan Craig, a Health Department spokeswoman.

 
 
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