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.