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NYC’s Park and Beach Smoking Ban Begins Today

Starting today, you may no longer smoke in New York City’s parks, beaches, boardwalks, public golf courses, sports stadium grounds, and pedestrian throughways like Times Square and Herald Square, according to a post on Cigar Aficionado’s website. This ban, which was passed several months ago, expanded the city’s existing ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, stadiums, and more.

If you’re caught smoking in any of the places covered by the new ban, you could face a $50 fine. As I mentioned in our post about the ban, the NYPD will not be enforcing this ban—it will be up to city residents to report violations to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. According to a press release on the department’s website, “Parks Enforcement Officers…do have the ability to issue summonses to those who do not comply with parks rules.”

Cigar Rights of America and William Paley, owner of La Palina Cigars, will be holding a 100 percent legal smoke-in at the privately-owned Samuel Paley Park (3 East 53rd Street between Madison and Fifth) from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today. I couldn’t find the full text of the invitation, but here’s what A Cigar Smoker’s Journal posted:

“William Paley, La Palina Cigar and Cigar Rights of America are hosting a legal outdoor smoke event in counterpoint to the banning of smoking in New York City’s public parks.

Samuel Paley Park is a privately owned park, set aside for the enjoyment of the people of New York by my father, William S Paley, founder of CBS. Samuel Paley epitomized the American Dream by rising from a poor immigrant to a powerful industrialist in twenty years. He was the founder of La Palina Cigars which produced its first cigar in 1896.

We hope that you can attend this event, or at least tell others about it. Let us celebrate personal liberty, self determination and the pursuit of our happiness by sharing a good cigar and observing the 44th Anniversary of the opening of Paley Park, always a smoking friendly oasis in the nanny-city of New York.”

Anyway, light one up tonight in remembrance of the time when New York City was a good place to take a walk in the park and smoke a fine stogie (you know, a few weeks ago). I won’t be attending the event, but I hope that some of you will be!