City Council votes to ban smoking in parks

(AP) - New York City lawmakers have voted to extend the city's smoking ban to parks and beaches.

The ban was approved by a vote of 36-12 on Wednesday. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says the new law will save lives and make New York a healthier place to live.

The smoking ban will cover some 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches plus boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas, including Times Square. Signs announcing the new ban will be posted within 90 days.

New York City outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants in 2002. Backers of the ban say that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can pose health risks.

Many smokers say the law will infringe on their rights.

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