Heated Debate at Hearing on Smoking Ban in Parks

10/14/2010 06:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • NOAH ROSENBERG nytimes.com

A New York City Council public hearing on a proposed smoking ban in city parks evolved into an hours-long, occasionally raucous showdown Thursday afternoon, touching on issues such as civil liberties, public health, big government and litter..

Testimony ranged from people like David Goerlitz, the former "Winston Man" who, in a press conference before the hearing, said smokers are treated like "lepers and second-class citizens," to Joe Applebaum, a Brooklynite who equated second-hand smoke with rat poison and said smokers have "no consideration for their fellow man."

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