As un-cool as it is nowadays, there are still a considerable amount of smokers who enjoy getting away from stringent Great Britain to a more relaxed atmosphere where sitting in a bar with a cigarette in hand is the norm!
However Foreign Countries are now taking up this health-conscious approach by banning smoking from public areas…..even outdoors!
The latest to be announced came about this week when the New York mayor banned smoking in Central Park, Times Square and Coney Island boardwalk, meaning visitors to the Big Apple will be breathing in cleaner air!
Officials announced that car-free areas of Times Square, beaches, parks and boardwalks will now be smoke-free.
In announcing the widespread ban, Mayor Bloomberg said: ‘the science is clear: Prolonged exposure to second-hand smoke – whether you’re indoors or out – hurts your health. Today, we’re doing something about it.’
City officials say they expect New Yorkers and visitors to the areas to follow the new regulation, and violators of the new law could pay the price and face a fine for as much as $250.
Adrian Benepe, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, said: ‘By supporting this legislation, we welcome the chance to improve the beauty and health of the City’s public outdoor spaces.
‘Tens of millions of visitors – New Yorkers and tourists alike – enjoy our beaches and parks year round.
‘We hope this new legislation makes it even safer and more pleasant for our children and adults to play sports and for visitors of all interests to enjoy healthier and cleaner parks and beaches.’
I’m not quite so sure many nicotine lovers will feel that way, especially with the ban extending across 29,000 acres of parkland in the city and 14 miles of public beaches! They’ll literally have to walk miles to legally light-up again.
Several other cities across the U.S. have similar bans, including Los Angeles, whose law has been changed since 2007.
Another country contemplating the ban is Spain, but with a reputation as one of the last smokers’ paradises in Western Europe, the law won’t go down too well with locals as well as tourists.
Recession-hit pub and hotel traders are infuriated by the thought of it as the recession has already had an important knock-on effect, and banning smoking is feared the damage done will only increase.
So good luck to all you soon-to-be travellers who enjoy nothing more than puffing in public, as you may find a long walk is in order to do so.