In May 2011, a new ordinance went into effect making all New York City parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas smoke-free. The new rules will reduce secondhand smoke exposure for all New Yorkers seeking relaxation and recreation. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, even outdoors. The new rules will also reduce pollution from cigarette butts, the number one source of beach litter. Studies show that discarded cigarette butts are toxic, slow to decompose, and costly to remove.
To reinforce the legislation, the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) released another installment of its ARRA-funded anti-smoking education campaigns on May 26, 2011. Click on the image above to see a video about this important step toward making our City healthier, cleaner, and more beautiful.
The positive feedback on the DOHMH “NYC Quits” Facebook page was overwhelming. One mother from Brooklyn, for instance, posted the following, “Loving the new no smoking at the beaches and parks law…I can breathe freely…I went with my kids and it was a relief to not expose my kids to second-hand smoking while having fun and enjoying the sun.”
Ready to quit? Now through March 16, 2012, NYC smokers can call 311 or apply online at www.nyc.gov/nycquits for no-cost nicotine patches or gum.
Fund for Public Health New York and NYC Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, Communities Putting Prevention to Work: Category B - Tobacco