NEW YORK – Lawmakers have voted to extend New York City's smoking ban to parks, beaches — and Times Square.
The ban approved Wednesday by a vote of 36-12 is one of the most ambitious outdoor anti-tobacco efforts in the U.S. 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. The law will go into effect in 90 days.
New York City outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants in 2002.
Backers of the ban say even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can pose health risks.
Many smokers say the law will infringe on their rights.