Smokers looking for new spots to light up

This summer, New Yorkers will have to find new places to light up.

Smoking will be prohibited in parks, marinas and beaches May 23 as part of the Smoking Ban signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month.

The New York City Department of Health and the American Lung Association has created programs to help people kick the habit. But for some who work in these soon-to-be restricted areas, bad habits aren’t about to be broken.

“I work in the park for 10 hours a day. So where am I supposed to smoke?” said Troy Pauley of Brooklyn, a smoker who works outdoors at the Wellman Grill in Central Park. “I’m going to smoke. If I have to hide and stoop down and smoke, I’m going to smoke.”

But Pauley will have to tread carefully— those caught smoking in prohibited areas are subject to a fine of $50 per violation.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the prime sponsor of the Smoking Ban, said the legislation will improve public health by eliminating secondhand smoke in recreational areas. “The whole notion of asthma in children is something that drove us, I think, and drove a lot of my colleagues more importantly, to support this bill,” she said, referring to findings published by the American Lung Association.