City's clampdown on smoking draws critics

NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban smoking in parks, beaches and public plazas is drawing critics who say the city could be trampling on civil liberties.

"I think they're getting too personal," said Monica Rodriguez, smoking at a phone booth near a pedestrian plaza south of Times Square. "I don't think it's OK. They're taking away everyone's privileges."

NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says the law will ensure city beaches and parks are free of smoke and open to all.

The City Council approved the bill Feb. 2; the mayor has 20 days to sign it.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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