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Group Stages 'Smoke-In' At Brighton Beach To Protest NYC's New Smoking Ban

BROOKLYN, NY (1010 WINS) -- It's not a sit-in, but a smoke-in. Smokers intentionally broke the law by lighting up in protest of New York City's new smoking ban.

The city's  sweeping outdoor smoking ban went into effect Monday and prohibits smokers from lighting up in public parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.

The group, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment or CLASH, held the rally Saturday to protest the ban at Brooklyn's Brighton Beach.

1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan has more on the smokers' demonstration.


The law was passed as a way to help prevent second-hand smoke. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he expects New Yorkers to be the ones enforcing the law by giving smokers a friendly reminder.

Audrey Silk of CLASH said she worries about this self-policing aspect of the ban.

"Citizen on citizen, inform on your neighbor," Silk said. "They're inviting hostile confrontations. I'm not encouraging violence or suggesting it or condoning it, but human nature is when you have confrontation in the street, arguments get heated and things will happen."

If caught breaking the law, a smoker could be fined between $50 and $250.

The protest was held at 2 p.m. on the boardwalk at Brighton 6th Street.

What do you think of the protest? Sound off below in our comments section.

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