No-Smoking Signs Pop Up In Borough Parks

Nobody is more excited to see the new “no-smoking” signs in Bronx parks than those who worked to make them a reality.

The city-wide law banning smoking at parks and beaches went into affect on Monday, May 23, and the signs declaring the law started popping up in the Bronx a day earlier.

Both the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership and the Bronx Smoke Free Partnership were instrumental in getting the anti-smoking law passed. They rallied support from Bronx Community Boards and city council members for over a year before the mayor signed the public smoking ban into law.

For employees of these two non-profits, looking up in a park and seeing “no smoking within the park,” is truly gratifying.

“It’s very satisfying,” said David Lehmann, borough manager for the Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership. “We worked on this for a year.”

TNCAP community organizer Julia Geronimo has been on the lookout for the signs as well.

“I’ve already seen one at Bruckner playground,” Geronimo said. “We’re really excited and happy with the Parks Department.”

The Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership has already begun a survey of litter levels in parks since the signs went up. Lehmann said he has noticed both a lot of signs and less litter.

He said he expects it will take some time before New Yorkers become used to open-air parks and beaches as smoke-free areas.

The NYPD will not be enforcing the law, so it will be up to the Parks Department and every-day citizens to make sure it is obeyed.

“There will be a period of transition as people get used to it to it,” Lehmann said.

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