New legislation bans smoking in public parks and beaches

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WXXI – Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation prohibiting smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers and group camps.

Smoking in those designated areas will be punishable with a civil fine of $50.

The bill exempts the Adirondacks and Catskills from the ban as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks and areas not used for park purposes.

The governor’s office notes that many municipalities and local governments 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.

Hochul’s office notes that in addition to the health risks posed by secondhand smoke, cigarette utts are a major environmental hazard due to the non-biodegradable filters that are discarded.