This May 23rd is the one year anniversary of New York City’s parks and beaches becoming smoke-free. That’s right, smoking has been banned in the city’s parks and beaches for a whole year. And we all survived.
I remember when NYC was on the brink of making its parks and beaches smoke-free, not everyone was onboard. Some loved the idea of not being exposed to second hand smoke, while others felt that it was impinging on smokers’ rights. I was sort of in the middle of the two groups, because although I absolutely hate the smell of cigarette smoke, I was not a thousand percent comfortable telling people what they could and could not do in a public space.
But apparently I like fresh air more than I like smokers’ rights, because I have absolutely loved going to the park with my kids and not having to deal with the smoking issue. Yes, there are still people that will smoke and risk getting a ticket, but overall, there has been a marked improvement. It’s sort of strange to think that it’s been only a year since the law went into effect because already the idea of “smoking in the park” seems nearly as archaic as “smoking in the movie theater” and “smoking on the airplane.” Remember those days?
Is smoking permitted in your city’s parks? How would you feel about a ban going into effect?