TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
enacting the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014"
To prohibit smoking in all New York State Parks.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1399-o-1 of the public health law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 3 to prohibit smoking in all New York State parks. In
addition, each state park must post a sign at the park entrance
stating "All New York State Parks are now Smoke-Free Parks"
The New York Supreme Court in Troy ruled on October 8, 2013 that
Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation exceeded its
authority when it banned outdoor smoking in state parks. The court
blocked the office from implementing or enforcing the ban and ordered
any signs referring to it removed. The court ruled that the parks
office extended its actions "into the realm of legislating."
People visit our state parks to enjoy a safe, family friendly
environment. The United States Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (the "CDC") has determined that exposure to secondhand
smoke is extremely hazardous to the health of both children and
adults. Therefore, it is imperative that we abolish secondhand smoke
in our state parks and allow the citizens of our state to enjoy our
parks without putting their health, or the health of their children,
In children, the CDC has determined that secondhand smoke causes ear
infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory
symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath) respiratory
infections (i.e., bronchitis, pneumonia), a greater risk for sudden
infant death syndrome (SIDS). In children aged 18 months or younger,
the CDC has determined that secondhand smoke exposure is responsible
for an estimated 150,000-300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia
annually. Secondhand smoke is also responsible for approximately
7,500-15,000 hospitalizations of children annually in the United
In adults who have never smoked, the CDC has determined that
secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and/or lung cancer. For
nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects
on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart
attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high
risk. Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart
disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.
Secondhand smoke also increases lung cancer risk in adults.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths
annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.
The financial impact of secondhand smoke also takes a toll on our
economy. According to the American Cancer Society, in the United
States, the costs of extra medical care, illness, and death caused by
secondhand smoke are over 510 billion per year.
This bill will legislate a ban on smoking in all New York State parks
and eliminate secondhand smoke in our parks.
De minimis cost.
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have