New York Bans Smoking in Public Parks and Beaches

New York Bans Smoking in Public Parks and Beaches

By M. C. Millman

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on July 15 prohibiting smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps. 

Exempt from this ban are:

  • The Adirondacks and Catskills
  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks adjoining parks
  • Areas not used for park purposes

There will be a civil fine of $50 for those who ignore the rule. While most municipalities and local governments have their restrictions on smoking in public spaces, this additional penalty will enforce a statewide prohibition. 

"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," Governor Hochul said. "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."

This legislation is about more than the health risks posed by secondhand smoke. There is an additional significant environmental hazard from cigarette butts due to discarded non-biodegradable filters.

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