Prohibits any person from smoking at a playground; provides a definition as to what constitutes a playground.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting smoking at playgrounds
To prohibit smoking at public playgrounds.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill adds a new § 1399-o-1 to the Public Health Law to prohibit smoking at public playgrounds.
Children are significantly affected by secondhand smoke. Children's bodies are still developing, and exposure to the poisons in secondhand smoke puts them at risk of severe respiratory diseases and can hinder the growth of their lungs. The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure from conception through childhood can last a lifetime:
* The developing lungs of young children can be affected by exposure to secondhand smoke.
* Second hand smoke exposure increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. EPA estimates that between 150,000 and 300,000 of these cases annually in infants and young children are attributable to exposure to second hand smoke. Of these, between 7,500 and 15,000 will result in hospitalization. Secondhand smoke exposure impairs a child's ability to learn. It is neurotoxic even at extremely low levels. More than 21.9 million children are estimated to be at risk of reading deficits because of secondhand smoke. Higher levels of exposure to secondhand smoke are also associated with greater deficits in math and visuospatial reasoning.
* Second hand smoke exposure increases the prevalence of fluid in the middle ear, a sign of chronic middle ear disease.
* Second hand smoke exposure in children irritates the upper respiratory tract and is associated with a small but significant reduction in lung function.
* Asthma attacks are perhaps the most well-known health effect of secondhand smoke exposure among children. Secondhand smoke exposure increases the frequency of episodes and the severity of symptoms in asthmatic children. The EPA estimates that 200,000 to 1,000,000 asthmatic children have their condition worsened by exposure to secondhand smoke.
* Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with increased asthma severity and worsened lung function in children with asthma. Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with increased respiratory-related school absenteeism among children, especially those with asthma.
* Second hand smoke exposure is a risk factor for new cases of asthma in children who have not previously displayed symptoms.
* Not only does in utero and childhood secondhand smoke exposure cause decreased lung function and asthma in children, but such exposure is also responsible for poor lung function and respiratory disease in adults. Men who report postnatal secondhand smoke exposure and women who report prenatal exposure are more likely to have respiratory problems as adults.
* Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure raises adolescents' risk of metabolic syndrome - a disorder associated with excessive belly fat that increases ones' chances of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.
* The level of secondhand smoke a child is exposed to is directly proportional to the likelihood of the child becoming a smoker as an adolescent or an adult.
As a result of this broad communication of the reported risks of second-hand smoke, public-opinion polls show that the majority of Americans believe that secondhand smoke is harmful, and public policy has reflected this. For example:
* Smoking has been banned on all U.S. domestic airline flights since 1990;
* In December 2001, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) noted that almost 70 percent of Americans were working in smoke-free environments;
* According to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, as of July 2004 there were ordinances in more than 1,727 communities that ban or restrict smoking in indoor environments;
* As a matter of law, policy or practice, many - if not most - schools, day-care centers, fast-food restaurants and other places where children gather are virtually smoke-free; and,
* In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control reported a dramatic reduction in exposure of the general U.S. population to secondhand smoke over the course of a decade.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2006: Senate 3rd Reading Cal./Assembly Health Cmte. 2007-08: Passed Senate/Assembly Codes Cmte. 2009: Senate Health Cmte. 2010: Senate Health Cmte./Notice of Committee Consideration Requested; Reported and Committed to Codes Cmte.
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4401 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 4, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting smok- ing at playgrounds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 1399-o-1 to read as follows: S 1399-O-1. SMOKING RESTRICTIONS; CERTAIN OUTDOOR AREAS. SMOKING SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED AND NO PERSON SHALL SMOKE WITHIN FIFTY FEET OF ANY PLAYGROUND. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "PLAYGROUND" MEANS AN IMPROVED AREA DESIGNED, EQUIPPED, AND SET ASIDE FOR PLAY OF SIX OR MORE CHILDREN WHICH IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE AS AN ATHLETIC PLAYING FIELD OR ATHLETIC COURT, AND SHALL INCLUDE ANY PLAY EQUIPMENT, SURFAC- ING, FENCING, SIGNS, INTERNAL PATHWAYS, INTERNAL LAND FORMS, VEGETATION, AND RELATED STRUCTURES. PLAYGROUNDS OR PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT CONSTRUCTED UPON ONE, TWO AND THREE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY ARE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09501-01-1