N.Y. State Park Smoking Ban Has Exceptions
Regulations proposed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation would ban smoking on pool decks and playgrounds at all state parks, but other non-smoking areas would vary from region to region, the Auburn Citizen reported.
One of the differences, according to the proposed regulations, is smoking would be banned inside all cabins in the Genesee region, which includes parks in a portion of western New York.
But at Fair Haven Beach State Park in northern Cayuga County, which has 32 cabins on site, smoking would not be prohibited inside cabins.
Dan Keefe, a spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said staff in the state parks system's 12 regions helped recommend where smoking should be banned.
"The policy identifies playgrounds and pool decks specifically. Beyond that, because each park and region is different, the regional staffs were closely involved in identifying appropriate non-smoking areas," Keefe said in an email.
If the regulations are implemented, smoking would be prohibited on swimming beaches at Fair Haven Beach State Park. The park's diving channel and areas around concession and bath house entrances would also be designated non-smoking areas.
At Fillmore Glen State Park and Long Point State Park in southern Cayuga County, smoking would not be allowed in the swimming areas.
At select state parks, proposed non-smoking areas include pavilions, picnic areas and shelters. In the Allegany region, the regulations would allow managers to designate "no smoking events" even if the events are held in areas where smoking is permitted.
Blair Horner of the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey said in an interview Monday (Dec. 17) that the organization would prefer the broadest possible restrictions, but lauded the agency for their efforts.
"I think the parks department is making a good faith effort to take a significant bite at the apple in terms of addressing this problem," he said.
Horner said the ACS supports the proposed regulations as a way to prevent exposure to a "known human carcinogen," but also to limit children's exposure to "the experience of seeing someone smoke."
"From our conversations with the parks department, what they are trying to do is restrict smoking in areas where lots of people congregate or children congregate," he said.
A public comment period is open for residents wishing to submit formal public comments. To submit comments, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions is Jan. 21, 2013.