New York City has extended its smoking ban to public places including parks and beaches – even Times Square! – in tough new anti-smoking measures.

The new – some might say draconian – measure were approved by the New York city council with a vote of 36-12.

The smoking ban will come into effect three months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs it. Those caught lighting up will be hit by fines.

“This summer, New Yorkers who go to our parks and beaches for some fresh air and fun will be able to breathe even cleaner air and sit on a beach not littered with cigarette butts,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after the vote.

“By voting to prohibit smoking in all 1,700 city parks and 14 miles (23 kilometers) of beaches, the City Council will help us protect more New Yorkers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke — particularly children who suffer from asthma.”

However, some councillors slammed the ban for being too tough.

“I truly believe government is being too restrictive in his particular matter,” said Harlem Democrat Robert Jackson, who opposed the ban. It’s a totalitarian society that’s going to have this type of restrictions.”