Ban Deters Teen Smokers

A month ago, 18-year old Emma Benedict would walk her dog in Prospect Park while enjoying her morning coffee and cigarette. However, the recent ban on smoking in public spaces has made that an impossible routine to maintain. Now she walks her dog and smokes on the sidewalk.

Since the Bloomberg administration enacted the ban in June, teens like Benedict say they have been steered away from smoking in parks in fear of receiving a ticket.

In the first 30 days, the city has issued one ticket and 700 warnings, according to the Huffington Post. Neither the Police Department nor the Health Department would comment on the accuracy of this figure.

Like many teens interviewed, Luca Quin, 17, a senior at Beacon High School, said, he will “probably be in the park less” because of the ban. Which he said is unfortunate because “the park is the best place to smoke stogies.”

A press release posted on the New York City Parks Department website stated that “New Yorkers will ask people to follow the law and stop smoking,”

For teens such as Luca and Danny Fabricant, 17, the threat of a ticket is enough to deter them from smoking. Benedict, on the otherhand, is willing to take the risk of smoking in the park but says she exercises “extreme caution” when smoking in a public space.

The ban affects public spaces including 1,700 parks, 14 miles of beaches, 503 public spaces, 222 acres of public marinas and public golf courses.

About bb-pawprint

Archive for College Now Journalism class.