New York Gov. Signs Smoking Ban in State-Owned Beaches, Parks

New Yorkers who want to enjoy smoke and talk on one of the state’s beaches and parks may want to rethink.

State Democratic Governor Kathy Hokul signed a bill last month banning “smoking on all state-owned beaches, promenades, marina, playgrounds, recreation centers and group camps.”

People who smoke in such areas can be fined $ 50.

“Smoking is a dangerous habit that affects not only smokers, but everyone around them, including families and children who enjoy the state’s wonderful public places.” Hochul said in a statement after signing the bill last month.. “We are proud to sign this law, which helps protect the health of New Yorkers and reduce waste in parks and beaches throughout the state.”

The new law applies to both tobacco and cannabis.

The use of recreational cannabis has been legal in Empire since last year when former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the law.

The law allows the use of cannabis whenever tobacco is also permitted.

The bill, which was signed last month, said, “Adirondack and Catskill. [smoking] Parking lots, sidewalks adjacent to the park, and areas not used for the purpose of the park are also prohibited. ” According to the governor’s office..

“Many municipalities and local governments have already restricted or banned smoking in public places. This additional penalty enforces a state-wide ban and includes fines levied by local governments.” Hokuru’s office explained in a press release issued last month. “In addition to the health risks posed by indirect smoking, cigarette butts are a major environmental hazard due to the non-biodegradable filters that are discarded. They are the major environmental hazards found during cleanup projects. This ban keeps parks and beaches as clean and secure as the local ecosystem. “

The law was celebrated by several New York lawmakers.

“New York’s public parks are a family-friendly place. No one, especially children, should be exposed to indirect smoking while playing on the playground or enjoying a day at a public beach or campground. . ” Said Democratic Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Our park should also not be contaminated by non-biodegradable cigarette butts scattered throughout the premises. I sponsor this law to protect and improve the park’s beautiful network. We are also proud to thank Governor Hochul for helping New Yorkers enjoy the beauty of the park by signing it. “

Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, a member of the New York State Legislature, said the law respects the spirit of public green spaces.

“New Yorkers are heading to our parks for fresh air and fostering a healthy lifestyle. Smoking is the opposite. Governor Hochul has banned smoking in parks throughout the state. I am very pleased to have signed the bill and thank my colleagues for supporting the bill over the years. ” Said last month.

New Yorkers over the age of 21 have been able to legally own and use cannabis since last year, but the state-regulated weed market is not expected to open until later this year.

Hokur became governor after Kuomo resigned on suspicion of sexual misconduct last summer and has since played an active role in the formation of the state’s early legal cannabis industry.

Hochul announced last month a $ 5 million grant to support vocational training in the cannabis industry at a community college in New York.

“New York’s new cannabis industry is creating exciting opportunities, ensuring that new yokers seeking a career in this growing area receive the quality training they need to succeed,” Hochul said. Said in the announcement. “Diversity and inclusiveness make the New York workforce a competitive and powerful asset. We take concrete steps to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry. I will continue to take it. “

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