If you don’t smoke and you find yourself walking behind someone who does, it can be unpleasant. Now a New York City Councilman wants to do something about it.
“My bill is very simple, no smoking and walking on New York City Sidewalks,” said Queens Councilman Peter Koo (Dist. 20).
His bill would make it a misdemeanor to walk while smoking, likely punishable by a fine of $50, reports Fox 5.
Smokers, already banned from lighting up in public parks among many other places in the city, weren’t thrilled at the idea.
“I’m not standing in one spot, it’s not gonna happen,” said Ian, a smoker in Flushing. “As I’m walking, it’s outside, I’m not blowing it in anyone’s faces.”
“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.”
Other smokers questioned how such a law would be enforced and said it would divert much-needed police resources.
Smoking while standing in one spot would still be allowed. While some questioned whether a ban on walking and smoking would infringe on civil liberties, Koo said he’s not concerned.
“This bill is not against smoking just don’t do both together,” Koo said.
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.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 21st, 2018