New York’s new smoking ban in parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas has been in effect for a little more than a month now. You can discuss how effective it’s been based on the news that a single, solitary soul has been ticketed during that time. And that person was a newspaper photographer “who had been goading officials to issue a ticket,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The lack of ticketing is not because no one’s smoking in the out-of-doors, but instead due to lax enforcement of the ban, which city officials said would be the case all along, hoping that civilian smoking narcs would step up and pressure law-breakers to stop. But instead, everyone just seems to think the smoking ban is a joke.
In addition to the one ticket, which likely includes a fine of $50, there are some 700 cases in which officials asked smokers to put out their cigarettes in compliance with the new law. In those cases, officials said the smokers did so. (Or went somewhere else to smoke, or lit up again after the cops left, probably.)
Council Member Gale Brewer, the law’s lead sponsor, said this will be the “summer of warnings.”
Warnings without actual follow-through? Sounds like good parenting.