SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill Friday that prohibits smoking cannabis and tobacco in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps.
Smoking in these areas will be punishable with a civil fine of $50.
The bill exempts the Adirondacks and Catskills from the ban, as well as the parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes.
“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,” said Gov. Hochul. “I’m proud to sign this legislation that will protect New Yorker’s health and help reduce litter in public parks and beaches across the state.”
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According to the governor, many local governments and municipalities already have restrictions or bans on smoking in public spaces.
This additional penalty will enforce a statewide prohibition and includes a fine that will be collected by localities.
In addition to the health risks posed by secondhand smoke, cigarette butts are a major environmental hazard due to the non-biodegradable filters that are discarded.
They are the leading item found during cleanup projects.
Through this prohibition, parks and beaches will be kept cleaner and safer as will our local ecosystems.
Vaping and e-cigarettes are not covered under this legislation, but the NYS Parks system often prohibits vaping at state parks.