Lawmakers sign off on smoking ban near schools

THE BRONX - The state Senate and Assembly have signed off on a new smoking ban that prevents smokers from lighting up near schools.

The legislation prohibits smoking within 100 feet of both private and public school exits and entrances, unless it is on residential property nearby. It also applies to day care centers.

Lawmakers say the bill is an effort to protect children from secondhand smoke and many agree it's a good idea, but some opponents argue the government is going too far.

The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) who says Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is expected to sign the bill into law within the next few weeks.

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