A day after New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's smoking-in-public-places-is-no-longer-legal went into effect, smokers continued to have it their way: By defying the new law, smoking anyway, and getting away with it, the New York Daily News reports.
The Parks Department said Tuesday that during the ban's first day, none of its officers handed out summonses to smokers. As city officials contend, this could be because the new law relies on the age-old honor system.
The new smoking ban is a quality of life that is primarily self-enforcing, a Parks Department spokeswoman said in an interview Tuesday. We're counting on all New Yorkers to comply.
The new law, signed in February following the City Council's approval, prohibits smoking in pedestrian plazas, 1,700 city parks and along 14 miles of public beaches.
The city aims to reduce the public's exposure to secondhand smoke, while keeping the streets cleaner. According to reports from the mayor's office, cigarette stubs account for 75 percent of the litter found in New York City.
Parks Enforcement Officers can issue a $50 fine to anyone caught smoking in the park, the Daily News reports the Parks Department spokeswoman saying, but they can also choose to educate and advise the smoker before doing so.