TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
prohibiting smoking at playgrounds
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to
place restrictions on smoking on playgrounds
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends the Public Health Law by adding a new section
1399-0-1 that places smoking restrictions at playgrounds.
1. Smoking is not permitted between sunrise and sunset when one or
more persons under the age of 12 are present at the playground. For
the purposes of this section, playground is defined as an improved
area designed, equipped, and set aside for play by six or more
children and is not intended to be used as an athletic playing field
or athletic court and shall include any play equipment, surfacing,
fencing, signs, internal pathways, internal land forms, vegetation,
and related structures, Playgrounds or playground equipment
constructed on one, two, and three-family residential real property
are exempt from the requirements of this section, This section shall
not apply to any playground located within the city of New York.
2. No police officer, peace officer, regulatory officer or law
enforcement officer may arrest, ticket, stop or question any person
solely or in part on an alleged violation of subdivision one of this
section, nor may an alleged violation of subdivision one of this
section support probable cause to conduct any search ox limited search
of any person of his or her immediate surroundings.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation is intended to protect the health of
children who are more vulnerable to the ill effects of second-hand
smoke than adults. Historical data has consistently demonstrated that
children are significantly affected by second-hand smoke. Second-hand
smoke puts them at risk of severe respiratory diseases and often
hinders the growth of their lungs. Second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure
increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as
bronchitis and pneumonia. The United States Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) estimates that annually between 50,000 and 300,000 of
these cases, consisting of infants and young children, are
attributable to SHS exposure. Between 7,500 and 15,000 of these cases
will result in hospitalization. SHS exposure impairs a child's ability
to learn. It is a neurotoxin even at extremely low levels. More than
2.9 million children are estimated to be at risk of reading deficits
because of SHS. Higher levels of exposure to SHS are also associated
with greater deficiency in math and visuospatial reasoning.
Opinion polls indicate that the vast majorities of the public support
smoking restrictions and ordinances and therefore, laws are being
established to reflect this opinion. Most recently, New York State has
banned smoking on train platforms New York City has no smoking
regulations on all playgrounds, parks and some public squares as of
2010. Smoking has been banned on domestic and international flights,
in most schools, restaurants, public transit, sections of beaches and
various indoor facilities. There were ordinances in more than 1,727
communities that ban or restrict smoking in indoor environments.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.7627 -2012- referred to Health; Passed the Assembly S.5005 - 2009-10
- referred to Health; Passed the Assembly A.7469C -2007-08 - Passed
the Assembly S.7153 - 2006 - Referred to Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The fiscal implications could possibly include
revenue gains by the regional and said jurisdictions.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become law.