Smoking Ban Lifted in Parks, Beaches, Other Sites

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation reverses decision after a smokers' rights group protested the prohibition.

Even though state park officials have lifted a smoking ban at parks, beaches and historic sites they will continue installing "No Smoking" signs urging people not to light up, according to Newsday.

The decision to reverse the ban comes after a smoker's rights group protested the prohibition. Audrey Silk, of NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, says the signs are misleading and that her group will "fight the ban even when it is recast."

Smokers will be not ticketed for lighting up at places such as Bethpage State Park until a new ban is created, as the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation hopes to do.

According to the Newsday article:

Regulations require a public comment period and impact statement when there is significant opposition to a proposed change in a rule. But opposition to the change came in unexpectedly, officials said.

"Because we received the substantive comment, we are submitting through the state rule-making process a regulatory impact statement and that will be followed by a 45-day comment period," [agency spokesman, Dan Keefe] added.

In 2010, the Hempstead Town Board that prohibits all smoking at the town's 100 parks, except in designated areas. These areas will be located away from playing fields and courts, playgrounds, pools and pool decks, concession areas, bleachers and waterfront beach areas.

JOE May 31, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Smoking should be outlawed. Most itelligent people should know that it has been proven without doubt that smoking and second hand smoke cause cancer. I always try not to stereo type a group, but I have to say that I find the vast majority of smokers very inconsiderate. Why? because I see it all the time that smokers freely blow smoke in the air where non-smokers are walking. Then when they are done with their cigarette, it either gets chucked out on the sidewalk or street . If they want to give themselves cancer then let them do it in the privacy of their own home without the kids around. This may sound harsh but the reality is that the ground is littered with cigarette butts and the air is polluted with second hand smoke so I find it hard to sympathize.
Tom Gillen May 31, 2012 at 03:13 PM
outlawed? what is this communist China?? Thankfully, in this country, smokers still have the same rights as a non-smoker does. No excuse for littering though. And yes a little common courtesy does go a long way.
Steve May 31, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Let me start off by saying I am not a smoker, but outlawed ? I find it truly amazing how some people have this sense of entitlement that they need a law to ban something because they dont like it. Tom has it right , a little common courtesy does go a long way .
JOE May 31, 2012 at 08:09 PM
This has nothing to do with liking or not liking it.. The facts have been proven that cigarettes do cause cancer and how many millions of people have died because of it? . I see nothing wrong with banning cigarettes in public parks beaches, malls and open places where non smokers are. Non smokers rights should always take peference over smokers rights. This has nothing to do withy entitlements.
Tom Gillen May 31, 2012 at 08:54 PM
key word being 'public'
Tiffany June 01, 2012 at 03:29 PM
people who smoke in ths day and age are dumb (and yes I smoked for 14 years before I quit bc I care about myself & my family). Smokers rights? So do alcholics have "rights" too? Can they dirnk anywhere? No. What about heroin addicts? Can they shott up at the beach? its ridiculous. No one wants to inhale your smoke.
Tom June 01, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Right, only in Communist China would tobacco, LSD, heroin, meth, or marijuana be outlawed. Thank goodness this country is wise enough to leave deadly drugs like these up to the decision of the user.
Tom June 01, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Exactly, Tiffany. If people want to smoke in a public place let them put a plastic bag over their head.
Kristen Ferrari June 01, 2012 at 04:02 PM
As a reformed smoker, I feel the need to defend smokers. I didn't give up smoking for the health benefit. I gave it up because $11 a pack was way out of my price range. I was a courteous smoker and didn't blow it in faces and always made the effort to smoke in a place in which I was not interfering with any non-smokers around me. Smoking was very hard to give up. I loved my cigarettes. You can think that's stupid but it was an addiction and one that I still miss. I'm not the reformed smoker that is disgusted by it. I am the reformed smoker that walks past a smoker and lingers a bit just to smell the smell. Its pretty sad to me that people cannot just express the healthy benefits of quitting without the name calling. Smokers are aware of the health risks, but in life how many people do something thinking the bad things will never happen to them?
DDB June 01, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I was never a smoker, but I do think that banning smoking from the open outdoors is too much. Yes, smoking can kill, but if you are going to ban someone from smoking a cigarette in a park or at the beach because cigarette smoke poses a health threat, then ban any vehicle that gives off deadly carbon monoxide as well.
PeopleRClueless June 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
To all of you "experts" out there. Show me one stick of medical PROOF other than what you've heard on the news regarding smoking causing cancer and second hand smoke being dangerous. I dare you...go ahead and show me. Do some research of your own, and stop believing everything you hear. I've read the actual research studies, and smoking basically increases the risks of certain cancers in the smoker AND there is absolutely no valid proof that second hand smoke is harmful or causes anything to the nonsmoker. The final statement of the research states "that there is no level of safe second hand smoke that can be determined". This statement has been twisted and contorted into what suits the anti-smokers' cause. They used that last statement and completely disregarded the rest of the entire study. There is no safe level of second hand smoke simply b/c there was no way to determine that it was harmful to the nonsmoker. I love people that listen to everything they hear second, third and fourth hand. These are the same folks that will wave their hand in front of them when a smoker lights up a good 100 feet away from them, yet are dumb enough to stand on a street corner waiting to cross behind a bus with the engine running! For those of you who complain about butts on the ground...let's try putting ashtrays back outside, so people that do smoke can use them.
PeopleRClueless June 01, 2012 at 08:03 PM
That's b/c nothing is ever good enough for these folks in general, and they're so busy listening to all of the bogus information out there and not doing any research of their own, they don't know any better. If people are so worried about what's in the air they breathe, NY is the last place they should be living. The exhaust fumes alone floating around are worse than any cigarette can ever be.
PeopleRClueless June 01, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Do you realize how arrogant your post sounds? Non smokers rights should take preference over a smoker's rights? Got news for you Joe...read my post a bit further down, and when you know what you're talking about, then open your mouth. Until then, MY MONEY is just as green as any non-smoker's, and we smokers tend to keep the economy going more than any non-smoker. I have the same rights that you do. My father didn't fight a war for this country in order for him or his children to be told what we can and can't do in the open air. There's a huge difference between being in a confined area where smoke may aggravate a condition that is already present and smoking in an open area. Smoking and Non-Smoking sections weren't even good enough for you folks. Want your cake and eat it too. Sickening.
PeopleRClueless June 01, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I say we go back to the way it used to be...smoking and nonsmoking areas. If it's not good enough for the nonsmokers, let them vegetate in their homes and cry among themselves in PRIVATE. PUBLIC spaces are there for everyone to use. If you don't like it...leave. Simple. Same logic as when you go to the movies...if you're sitting somewhere and someone sits in front of you, and you can't see, instead of crying and complaining about it....MOVE to a place where you can see...someplace where you're happy. That's what I do. It's common sense. If I don't like something, I simply don't participate, or I leave. I go back when it's nice and quiet, if peace and quiet is what I'm looking for. This sense of "Entitlement" to everything under the sun is completely out of control!
PeopleRClueless June 01, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Well, if you don't want to inhale it...LEAVE! Simple!
JOE June 01, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Dr. peoplerclueless You want the proof look at the obituaries and see how many people have died from lung cancer. As far as ash trays outside , how about people stop being pigs and pick uP THE BUTTS or stop chucking the butts out the windows of their cars. If smokers want to poison themselves then they should do it in their homes. as far as I am concerned , smokers have the same rights as alcoholics and drug addicts. "None" If you want to recklessly do drugs, drink alcohol , or smoke then do it in your own backyard or home. Don't poison my space because you want to poison yours. As far as participation , non smokers have no choice in participation when smokers smoke in areas that nonsmokers are. Talk about common sense . Do I as a taxpayer want to go to a beach that my tax dolars have paid for to sit on a beach and smell smoke ? no . That is common sense. Smokers do not deserve any consideration. If you cant stop smoking , I feel sorry for you but that is not my problem.
Tom June 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM
http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/strsfs.html Or just to go to Wikipedia and look up "passive smoking" for a list of studies.
PeopleRClueless June 02, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Joe...You come off as an arrogant SOB! Show me ONE death certificate that lists smoking as the cause of death. Lung cancer is not CAUSED by smoking, it increases the risk. You are a piece of work, let me tell you! I AM ALSO IN THE MEDICAL FIELD and have access to the actual studies, not the crap they spoon feed you second, third and fourth hand. Do you honestly think that genetics doesn't play a roll in any type of cancer? I guess you also think that there's really no "cure" for cancer either? If you and the general population only knew what I know! Sheeple, I tell you. As far as paying taxes, I PAY THEM TOO and have most likely been paying the taxes in this town a hell of alot longer than you have. Your taxpayer argument is futile. If you don't want to smell smoke on the beach (which is a psychological issue more than anything) then sit at home. It's people with your type of attitude that has ruined and continues to ruin what was once a nice place to live.
PeopleRClueless June 02, 2012 at 02:28 AM
@ Tom ... Wikepedia is a BS site to get information. Anyone can go in there and post information. It's not a reliable source. If you're really interested in LEARNING something, you have to refine your searches to ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke - the "proper" name for second hand smoke) and search through for articles that have links to the actual studies. It's a bit harder to get to the original/actual study online, but it's possible. I have access to it easily because I'm in medical research....REAL medical research, not the crap they try to pass off as the statistical data in the media and through special interest groups. Good luck.
PeopleRClueless June 02, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Tom, the link you provided is through the EPA. They don't have the actual research studies, they only have the tidbits of information presented to them by the special interest groups. You're not getting the ENTIRE study and the results through those sites.
PeopleRClueless June 02, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Hey Tiffany, let me ask...are you on birth control pills, antidepressants, or statin drugs? I hope for you sake, that you "smart" folks aren't taking any of that crap because any of those drugs will kill you and cause cancer faster than any cigarette ever will (not to mention high blood sugar.) For the sake of us "dumb" smokers who don't take any of that crap, please tell me that you smart folks aren't poisoning your bodies with big pharma's poison instead!
Kathy Jeacoma August 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
You know what? Electronic Cigarettes are simply the answer-they contain nicotine that the consumer controls, glycerin and flavoring-there are no known side effects (don't believe the scare tactics of Big Tobacco), no second hand effects, no odor other than the smell of the fruity or nutty flavorings, no littering butts, no matches, etc etc-I have been vaping 18 months-no cigarettes- my annual checkup showed my lungs as clear as if Id never smoked-DONT get taken in by the high priced sellers at the mall- check out a forum of vapers or the many vaping groups on Facebook- we have a Long Island based group called Absolutely Meaningless Vape Club on Facebook-look us up-


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