New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has signed legislation banning smoking at all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreational centers, and group camps. Violations are punishable with a $50 fine.
The state’s cannabis legalization law allows smoking wherever tobacco use is allowed and the law signed by Hochul applies to both tobacco and cannabis.
The measure exempts the state’s sprawling state parks, the Adirondacks and Catskills, from the ban, as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes.
In a statement, Hochul said the legislation “will protect New Yorker’s health and help reduce litter in public parks and beaches across the state.”
“Smoking is a dangerous habit that affects not only the smoker but everyone around them, including families and children enjoying our state’s great public places.” — Hochul in a press release
Many municipalities and local governments already have restrictions or smoking bans in public spaces. The additional penalty will enforce a statewide prohibition and includes a fine that will be collected by localities.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D), one of the bill’s sponsors, said that the state’s public parks are “family friendly venues” and “no one, especially children, should be subjected to secondhand smoke while playing on a playground or enjoying the day at a public beach or camp site.”
“Our parks also shouldn’t be tainted by non-biodegradable cigarette butts scattered throughout their grounds,” she said in a statement. “I am proud to sponsor this legislation to protect and improve our beautiful network of parks and I thank Gov. Hochul for helping New Yorkers enjoy the beauty of our parks by signing it into law.”
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