July 15, 2022
From The Governor’s Office: Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation (S.4142/A.5061) prohibiting smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps. Smoking in these designated areas will be punishable with a civil fine of $50. The bill exempts the Adirondacks and Catskills from the ban as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes.
“Smoking is a dangerous habit that affects not only the smoker but everyone around them, including families and children enjoying our state’s great public places,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to sign this legislation that will protect New Yorker’s health and help reduce litter in public parks and beaches across the state.”
Many municipalities and local governments already have restrictions or bans on smoking in public spaces. This additional penalty will enforce a statewide prohibition and includes a fine that will be collected by localities.
In addition to the health risks posed by secondhand smoke, cigarette butts are a major environmental hazard due to the non-biodegradable filters that are discarded. They are the leading item found during cleanup projects. Through this prohibition, parks and beaches will be kept cleaner and safer as will our local ecosystems.