It has been a few months since the City Council's ban on smoking in parks and beaches kicked in. So how's it doing? Mixed. The number of tickets written is still holding steady at one and New Yorkers, according to the latest Marist Poll [PDF], are not entirely unanimous in their thoughts on the ban. While most New Yorkers like the idea of butt-free parks they aren't sure if it is working. Still, a majority of them would recommend other cities give it a puff.
In the survey, Marist talked to 808 New Yorkers, 17 percent of whom were smokers. Of the whole sample, 69 percent felt that the smoking ban was a good idea while 4 percent were unsure. However if you only asked smokers, just 40 percent think it is a good idea, while 59 percent think it is a bad one (shocking!). Gender also seems to make some difference in how a person think about the smoking ban. While women (77 percent) are adamantly for the ban, men (61 percent) are not so sure.
All those differences fade away, though, when people are asked if the ban is working. 45 percent of adults (46 percent of men, 45 percent of women) think that the smoking ban is working while 41 percent say that it is mostly not working. Meanwhile 14 percent are unsure (which is pretty reasonable, all things considered). And curiously, a majority of smokers (50 percent) and non-smokers (56 percent) say that the smoking ban has not had a personal impact on them.
Whatever people think of the smoking ban or how effective it is, a healthy majority of New Yorkers think it is a good enough idea that other cities ought to emulate it. 64 percent of adults citywide think so, in fact, while 30 percent do not and 6 percent are unsure. Unsurprisingly 63 of smokers would not recommend an outdoor smoking ban to other communities while 35 percent would.
Meanwhile, the ban keeps on moving here as parks outside of the city's jurisdiction play catchup to ban butts as well. For instance, Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is not part of the Parks system, tells us that though it is separate, "Brooklyn Bridge Park’s rules were amended to be consistent with the new city law and implemented in the same timeframe."