By Therin Miller | July 29, 2022
New York City Governor Kathy Hochul (D) recently signed legislation prohibiting the use of cannabis and cigarettes in numerous public places.
Governor Kathy Hochul (D) of New York has approved legislation prohibiting smoking at all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreational facilities, and group camps. Violations are subject to a $50 fine.
The state's cannabis legalization statute permits smoking everywhere tobacco use is permitted, and the measure penned by Hochul applies to both Cannabis and Tobacco.
The bill exempts the state's large state parks, the Adirondacks and Catskills, as well as parking lots, walkways adjacent to parks, and places not used for park functions, from the prohibition.
Hochul said in a statement that the bill "would safeguard New Yorkers' health and help eliminate garbage in public parks and beaches across the state."
Many towns and local governments currently regulate or prohibit smoking in public places. The added punishment entails a statewide prohibition as well as a fee that will be collected by towns.
One of the bill's proponents, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D), stated that the state's public parks are "family-oriented settings" and that "no one, especially kids, should be subjected to secondhand smoke while playing outside or enjoying the day at a public beach or campsite."
"Our parks should likewise not be polluted by non-biodegradable cigarette butts strewn throughout their grounds," she added in a statement. "I am happy to introduce this legislation to safeguard and develop our wonderful network of parks, and I applaud Gov. Hochul for signing it into law and allowing New Yorkers to enjoy the beauty of our parks."