A bill being introduced in the City Council Wednesday by Councilman Peter Koo would ban puffing a cigarette while walking along a city sidewalk.
Smokers standing in one spot on the sidewalk would still be allowed to light up.
Koo (D-Queens) said he wants to spare fellow pedestrians the nuisance of being caught behind a smoker and breathing in secondhand smoke.
“It has happened to me many times — I’m walking behind someone who’s smoking, and I’m suffering for five or 10 minutes,” Koo said. “I see mothers with their strollers walking behind people who smoke, and they’re exposing the baby to secondhand smoke.”
It’s already illegal to smoke in city parks, as well as inside bars, restaurants, stores and other indoor public places.
If the new legislation passed, pedestrians caught blowing smoke could be hit with a $50 fine, the same penalty that currently applies in parks.
The smoking while walking ban would also apply to street medians and Parks Department parking lots.
The Queens pol said he’s moving to legislate what should be common courtesy.
“In a perfect world, every smoker would have the self awareness to realize smoking while walking subjects everyone behind you to the fumes,” he said.
Some smokers cried foul, noting that existing restrictions leave the sidewalk as one of the few places they’re allowed to puff.
“I think that’s unreasonable,” said Ceia Cremo, 48, of Jackson Heights. She was smoking an American Spirit as she walked down Fifth Ave.
“Where else do I have left to smoke? You can’t smoke in the park, you can’t smoke in a lot of places.”
But some pedestrians welcomed the proposed ban.
“I think they should ban it. I feel like some people don’t pay attention because when they’re smoking they don’t realize there are people behind them. If you’re behind, it’s directly in your face,” said Latoya Smith, 39, of Clinton Hill.
A Staten Island smoker who gave his name as Rosario, who was puffing a mini cigar as he walked in Midtown, agreed with the bill.
“We’re victims of this stupid habit,” he said, adding of the potential $50 fine, “It should be $100. And that opinion comes from a smoker.”
On – 20 Mar, 2018 By Array