BILL NUMBER: S3242
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting
smoking at playgrounds
To prohibit smoking at public playgrounds.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1 of the bill adds a new § 1399-0-1 to the Public Health Law
to prohibit smoking at public playgrounds.
Children are significantly affected by secondhand smoke. Children's
bodies are still developing, and exposure to the poisons in secondhand
smoke puts them at risk of severe respiratory diseases and can hinder
the growth of their lungs. The health effects of secondhand smoke
exposure from conception through childhood can last a lifetime:
* The developing lungs of young children can be affected by exposure
to secondhand smoke.
* Second hand smoke exposure increases the risk of lower respiratory
tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. EPA estimates that
between 150,000 and 300,000 of these cases annually in infants and
young children are attributable to exposure to second hand smoke. Of
these, between 7,500 and 15,000 will result in hospitalization.
Secondhand smoke exposure impairs a child's ability to learn. It is
neurotoxic even at extremely low levels. More than 21.9 million
children are estimated to be at risk of reading deficits because of
secondhand smoke. Higher levels of exposure to secondhand smoke are
also associated with greater deficits in math and visuospatial
* Second hand smoke exposure increases the prevalence of fluid in the
middle ear, a sign of chronic middle ear disease.
* Second hand smoke exposure in children irritates the upper
respiratory tract and is associated with a small but significant
reduction in lung function.
* Asthma attacks are perhaps the most well-known health effect of
secondhand smoke exposure among children. Secondhand smoke exposure
increases the frequency of episodes and the severity of symptoms in
asthmatic children. The EPA estimates that 200,000 to 1,000,000
asthmatic children have their condition worsened by exposure to
* Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with increased asthma
severity and worsened lung function in children with asthma.
Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with increased
respiratory-related school absenteeism among children, especially
those with asthma.
* Second hand smoke exposure is a risk factor for new cases of asthma
in children who have not previously displayed symptoms.
* Not only does in utero and childhood secondhand smoke exposure cause
decreased lung function and asthma in children, but such exposure is
also responsible for poor lung function and respiratory disease in
adults. Men who report postnatal secondhand smoke exposure and women
who report prenatal exposure are more likely to have respiratory
problems as adults.
* Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure raises adolescents' risk of
metabolic syndrome - a disorder associated with excessive belly fat
that increases ones' chances of heart disease, stroke, and type II
* The level of secondhand smoke a child is exposed to is directly
proportional to the likelihood of the child becoming a smoker as an
adolescent or an adult.
As a result of this broad communication of the reported risks of
second-hand smoke, public-opinion polls show that the majority of
Americans believe that secondhand smoke is harmful, and public policy
has reflected this. For example:
* Smoking has been banned on all U.S. domestic airline flights since
* In December 2001, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) noted that almost 70 percent of Americans were
working in smoke-free environments;
* According to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, as of July
2004 there were ordinances in more than 1,727 communities that ban or
restrict smoking in indoor environments;
* As a matter of law, policy or practice, many - if not most -
schools, day-care centers, fast-food restaurants and other places
where children gather are virtually smoke-free; and,
* In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control reported a dramatic
reduction in exposure of the general U.S. population to secondhand
smoke over the course of a decade.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2006: Senate 3rd Reading Cal./Assembly Health Cmte.
2007-08: Passed Senate/Assembly Codes Cmte.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law.
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