Printer Friendly Format Share

PR- 041-11
February 2, 2011


Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:

“This summer, New Yorkers who go to our parks and beaches for some fresh air and fun will be able to breathe even cleaner air and sit on a beach not littered with cigarette butts. By voting to prohibit smoking in all 1,700 City parks and 14 miles of beaches, the City Council will help us protect more New Yorkers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke – particularly children who suffer from asthma. Our efforts over the last 9 years have resulted in more than 350,000 fewer smokers, and contributed to New Yorkers living 19 months longer than they did in 2002. I want to thank Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Gale Brewer who have been our partners in improving our quality-of-life and making New York City a healthier place to live. I also want to encourage any New Yorker who smokes and wants to quit to call 311 today.” 

Statement of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:

“The statistics don’t lie: second hand smoke kills. With this bill, all New Yorkers can now breathe easier and breathe cleaner air. No one should have to inhale deadly cigarette smoke when they go to a park or beach. My Council colleagues and I know that Big Tobacco will never rest in its efforts to recruit new smokers to replace those customers who are dying prematurely from using their products. But this summer, when people visit our beautiful parks and beaches, they will be able to relax and not worry about dodging deadly secondhand smoke. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Council Member Gale Brewer and the many advocates who worked so hard to make this legislation possible.”

Statement of City Council Member Gale Brewer, Prime Sponsor of the Bill:

“I support this legislation because second hand smoke is a health problem for all New Yorkers but especially for families who have children with chronic asthma. Other cities have passed similar ordinances and CUNY just banned smoking on its campuses citywide. This is common sense legislation and in the long run this will help New Yorkers become healthier.”

Statement of City Council Member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Chair of the Health Committee:

“A recent study found that in New York City, 2.5 million people had been exposed to a high enough level of second-hand smoke that they had measurable residue in their bodies. If we can help reduce those numbers, however small, that will mean healthier individuals, less children with asthma and more years added on to a person’s life. I support this legislation and I thank my colleagues and advocates who have worked so diligently on this.”

Statement of City Council Member Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Chair of the Parks & Recreation Committee:

“Our city’s park users should be able to enjoy fresh air and recreation in a smoke-free environment.  In my district, particularly in El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx, asthma rates among children are alarming, and parents have reported that even the slightest amount of second-hand smoke can trigger an attack. I thank Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Brewer for their leadership on this issue.”

Statement of New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley:

We are extremely grateful to the City Council for making New York City’s parks and beaches smoke-free. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in New York City, responsible for killing more than 7,000 New Yorkers a year. We have made great strides with higher cigarette taxes, our hard-hitting tobacco campaigns and policies like the Smoke Free Air Act. As a result, from 2002 to 2009, the smoking rate in New York City decreased by 27 percent and an estimated 6,300 lives were saved. But there are still nearly a million smokers in New York City and increasingly research shows that even outdoor exposure to secondhand smoke can have adverse health effects. With this bill, New Yorkers will not be exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke in parks or on beaches, and children who go there to play will not get a lesson in how to smoke. This is a great day for the health of New Yorkers.”

Statement of New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe:

“Tens of millions of visitors – New Yorkers and tourists alike – come to our beaches and parks year round and these popular destinations will now be more pleasant for children and adults who want to relax, picnic, play, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of our parks without the smoke and litter created by cigarettes.”


Stu Loeser / Jessica Scaperotti (Mayor)   (212) 788-2958

Jamie McShane (Council)   (212) 788-7124


TwitterTwitter   TwitterYouTube   FlickrFlickr
More Resources