Legislating against nuisance

| March 21, 2018

A bill due to be introduced in New York City Council today would ban smoking a cigarette while walking along a city sidewalk, according to a story in the New York Daily News.

Under the bill, smokers standing on one spot on the sidewalk would be allowed to light up.

Councilman Peter Koo said he wanted to spare fellow pedestrians the nuisance of being caught behind a smoker and breathing in second-hand 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 second-hand smoke.”

The Daily News story said it was 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 applies in parks.

The smoking-while-walking ban would also apply to street medians and Parks Department parking lots.

The Councilman said he was 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.

There was no mention in the story of the vehicle fumes that are mostly exhausted at stroller height.

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Category: Breaking News, People, Regulation

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