Prohibits smoking in public parks and pedestrian plazas; sets $50 fine; defines terms.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting smoking in certain outdoor areas
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would restrict smoking in certain outdoor areas.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the public health by adding section 1399-o-1, prohibiting smoking on any municipal or state operated park, or pedestrian plaza Municipal or state operated park Include boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers and all other property, equipment, buildings and facilities under charge or control of any state or local government. Pedestrian plazas are any area designated by the department of transportation for use as a plaza, which may contain benches, tables or other facilities for pedestrian use.
Section 1 of this bill also labels areas where the provision shall not apply. These areas are sidewalks immediately adjoining parks, parking lots, theatrical productions, and any route through any park strip, median or mall that is adjacent to vehicular traffic.
Section 2 amends section 1399-V of the public health law It assigns a civil penalty of fifty dollars for each violation.
Section 3 of this bill sets the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Localities throughout the country are now acting to ban smoking in public parks. New York City has already passed legislation prohibiting smoking at all of the areas this bill encompasses, Smoking is also prohibited at children's playgrounds in the towns of Greenburgh (Westchester), Huntington (Suffolk) and the city of Little Falls (Herkimer) Many localities throughout the nation, including San Francisco, Los Angles, and Salt Lake City have already acted to restrict or prohibit smoking in parks.
A 2012 meta-analysis study by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco found that "smoke-free laws have dramatic and immediate impacts on health and associated medical costs." The study found that "smoke-free laws" in 33 locales led to a 15 percent reduction in hospitalizations for heart attacks and 16 percent for strokes" The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said, "this study adds to the evidence, including a review by the Institute of Medicine, that smoke-free laws save lives by preventing heart attacks, strokes and other serious diseases."
An October 2012 study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found heart attacks dropped by 33 percent in one Minnesota county in the 18 months following smoke-free legislation, when compared to the 18 months preceding its passage. In addition, there was a 17 percent reduction in sudden cardiac deaths.
Support for restricting smoking in outdoor areas has grown due to the concerns of secondhand smoke and cigarette litter. Secondhand smoke kills approximately 63,000 people each year. A survey conducted as part of the 2005 Independent Evaluation of the Tobacco Control Program found that a majority of New Yorkers support banning smoking at public parks.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Fines created by this bill would result in some revenue for municipalities and localities that enforce the fine.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 90 days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 464 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- 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 in certain outdoor areas 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. 1. SMOKING SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED AND NO PERSON SHALL SMOKE IN ANY PUBLIC PARK OR PEDESTRIAN PLAZA. 2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (A) "PARK" MEANS PUBLIC PARKS, BEACHES, WATERS AND LAND UNDER WATER, POOLS, BOARDWALKS, MARINAS, PLAYGROUNDS, RECREATION CENTERS AND ALL OTHER PROPERTY, EQUIPMENT, BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES NOW OR HEREAFTER UNDER THE JURISDICTION, CHARGE OR CONTROL OF ANY STATE OR LOCAL GOVERN- MENT AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT. (B) "PEDESTRIAN PLAZA" MEANS AN AREA DESIGNATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR USE AS A PLAZA LOCATED WITHIN THE BED OF A ROADWAY, WHICH MAY CONTAIN BENCHES, TABLES OR OTHER FACILITIES FOR PEDESTRIAN USE. 3. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO: (A) THE SIDE- WALKS IMMEDIATELY ADJOINING PARKS, SQUARES AND PUBLIC PLACES; (B) ANY PEDESTRIAN ROUTE THROUGH ANY PARK STRIP, MEDIAN OR MALL THAT IS ADJACENT TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC; (C) PARKING LOTS OR ROADWAYS; (D) THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS; AND (E) ANY PORTION OF A PARK THAT IS NOT USED FOR PARK PURPOSES. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT LIMIT THE APPLICABILITY OF ANY OTHER LAWS TO SUCH PLACES. S 2. Section 1399-v of the public health law, as added by chapter 244 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01486-01-3 S. 464 2
S 1399-v. Penalties. The commissioner may impose a civil penalty for a violation of this article in an amount not to exceed that set forth in subdivision one of section twelve of this chapter. Any other enforcement officer may impose a civil penalty for a violation of this article in an amount not to exceed that set forth in paragraph f of subdivision one of section three hundred nine of this chapter. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGO- ING PROVISIONS, A VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED NINETY-NINE-O-1 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL PENALTY OF FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH VIOLATION. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.