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March 3, 2011 / Brooklyn news / Greenpoint / The Greatest Story Ever

She’s smokin’! But that’s the problem, as Park honcha must quit before May 23

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Quitting smoking is no walk in the park — but for one top Parks Department official, it’s going to have to be.

North Brooklyn Parks administrator and longtime smoker Stephanie Thayer has vowed to quit in the wake of a new city law pushed by her boss, Mayor Bloomberg, to widen the city’s existing bans on smoking to include puffing outdoors in parks.

It’s going to be a long and difficult journey for the three-decade smoker who spends nearly her entire day in Greenpoint’s McCarren and McGolrick parks (and the rest of the time is spent smoking).

“I have to quit — I have two months,” said Thayer, still puffing as she gave this interview.

Thayer has “lost count” of the times she’s tried to kick the habit before — using the patch, the gum, hypnotists, pills and a big plate of cold turkey.

But friends kept bringing her cigarettes because she would become “intolerable” without her nicotine fix, she admitted.

But for the good of the city — and to participate in our new weekly column, The Great Stephanie Smokeout — Thayer is trying again.

So far, she’s been doing yoga and meditation, and has already planned on splurging on weekly massages with the money she’s saving not buying cigarettes.

And if that doesn’t work, she’s going to break out those electronic cigarette pacifiers.

To help her out, Thayer’s co-worker, Open Space Alliance’s Julia Morrow, has stopped smoking for several weeks now.

And Thayer’s family has been equally supportive.

“Andrea, my 5-year-old niece, tells me, ‘Smoking makes people die. I don’t want you to die,’ ” said Thayer.

If Thayer has not licked butts before the citywide ban kicks in on May 23, she can always head over to East River State Park — where there’s no against smoking outdoors (thanks, Albany!).

“The rangers aren’t going to tell people to stop smoking,” said a state parks spokesman.

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Reader Feedback

Cathy Peake from Albany - Capitol says:
Go Stephanie: Better to ride the camel than smoke it!!! Good luck, we'll be rooting for you up here.
March 3, 2011, 1:27 pm
Audrey from Brooklyn says:
"-and it shows" is completely uncalled for. Stephanie, you look perfectly fine to me.
March 4, 2011, 12:38 am
Robby from Clinton Hill says:
If I see her with a butt in the McCarren Greenmarket, I'm calling the cops! Good luck quitting, Stephanie. Why not quit your job, too? Such an unpleasant person is she to behold!
March 4, 2011, 2:18 am
Laura from Greenpoint says:
Unfortunately, ST's been caught smoking at recent community meetings. Tsk. Tsk. The only way to quit is cold turkey. I smoked for over 20 years and couldn't quit until I really wanted to quit. No amount of patches, gum and so on are going to supply will power. She just has to decide, and do it.
March 4, 2011, 1:05 pm
Christopher Thayer from Lords Valley, PA. says:
Drea and the rest of the family are behind you 110%.. Quitting smoking sucks (as I know after 30 years of Camels), doing so in the eye of the public even more so..Ignore the cheap shots, we are all proud of you !!
March 7, 2011, 8:20 am
Navarone from 11222 says:
It is funny how people will twist text around to support ideas that aren't even put out there. (Audry) "And it shows" is obviously a statement about her holding a cigarette in a PHOTO. If you want to split hairs, saying someone looks "fine" is way more of an insult. Fine means what? A true member of the ST fan-club would have a far more effusive description than fine. Should she quit? Yes. And smoking, too.
March 7, 2011, 8:04 pm
Michael Trenters from Williamsburg/Bushwick says:
Seeing as how Stephanie, along with her other envious, selfish, narrow minded, short sighted, vindictive, and completely out of touch cohorts at OSA (or should I say OSAP seeing as how they are now event producers, and horrible ones at that) blatantly and violently took over a neighborhood that was at one time inspired and beloved, 'smoking' is hopefully the first of many privileges to be taken from her. Huge thanks to Stephanie, Steve Hindy, and Adam Perlmutter for playing a significant role in making Williamsburg the SOHO they always dreamed it could be, and successfully hiding behind 'fund raising' every step of the way. OSA does a great job of tackling the really important issues. Just curious, what North Brooklyn/neighborhood issues was the non for profit, Open Space Alliance, focussed on last summer. Seemed like they spent most of their time acting as event producers and destroying summer music in Williamsburg...
March 22, 2011, 9:02 am
Confused Puerto Rican from Greenpoint says:
Good thing you dont have to worry about the desire to smoke after sex, right?
March 22, 2011, 11:10 am
WTF Smith from Bushwick says:
This is news? Last week I had to stop watching a movie on Netflix because it was so bad. That could make for a good story too.
March 22, 2011, 11:14 am

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