Eyewitness News First At 4:00 P.M
Voluntary smoking ban on East Harlem block
EAST HARLEM (WABC) -- If you want to smoke, don't come to East Harlem on 110th street between Park and Lexington, where there is a voluntary ban on outdoor smoking.
This is all a part of a new initiative by the Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership and the East Harlem Asthma Center, which is located right on the block where the ban is located.
So far there have been fifteen businesses and one residential building that have signed on. They all agree to display the sign and create a smoke free zone that extends 15 feet from the entrance. If smoking 15 feet from the building puts you on the street, that basically bans smoking on the sidewalks.
In 2008, East Harlem had the highest rates of asthma-related hospital visits for kids between the ages of 5 to 14 - smoking is one trigger for the condition.
The voluntary ban will not be officially enforced, and some businesses who agreed to it, don't have the signs up. In fact, one has the sign next to another one that is promoting cigarettes. Many people even seem to be ignoring it altogether.
The Hellgate Post Office on the block did not sign the pledge, reportedly because many of the workers smoke outside.
"We are committed to our strong environmental and employee safety program," the government agency said in a statement.
- raw video: New video just after East Harlem Explosion
- AccuWeather: Cold, but milder 14 min ago
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- Workers remove rubble in East Harlem 37 min ago
- East Harlem explosion: More on the victims
- Photos: East Harlem explosion
- East Harlem Explosion: How to Help
- Photos: Several vehicles on fire in New Jersey
- Teen shot, apparently by brother, in Queens
- Long Island cab driver accused of exposing himself to girl
- Westchester animal shelter in danger of collapsing 21 min ago
- Woman steals Dorothy's ruby slippers from SI hotel
- Photos: Pictures from PHL after landing gear collapse
- Majority of debris removed from explosion...
22 min ago
- Residents displaced by explosion search for...
23 min ago
- Workers remove rubble in East Harlem
37 min ago
- Westchester animal shelter in danger of...
21 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos