Smoking ban in city parks takes effect

NEW YORK - (AP) - Smokers will no longer be able to light up inNew York City parks, beaches, public plazas and on boardwalks.

The ban takes effect today.

Those who break the law could face fines of $50 per violation.However, the city has said it plans to rely on signs and socialpressure instead of active enforcement.

The city's health department says the law will protect peoplefrom dangerous secondhand smoke. Some health experts questionedwhether the smoke poses a serious danger in open, outdoor spaces.Critics of the law say the city is trampling on civil liberties.

The city banned smoking in restaurants, bars and other publicindoor spaces in 2002.

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