Bill S6241-2013

Enacts the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014"

Enacts the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014"; prohibits smoking in public parks.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HEALTH

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BILL NUMBER:S6241

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014"

PURPOSE:

To prohibit smoking in all New York State Parks.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1399-o-1 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to prohibit smoking in all New York State parks. In addition, each state park must post a sign at the park entrance stating "All New York State Parks are now Smoke-Free Parks"

JUSTIFICATION:

The New York Supreme Court in Troy ruled on October 8, 2013 that Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation exceeded its authority when it banned outdoor smoking in state parks. The court blocked the office from implementing or enforcing the ban and ordered any signs referring to it removed. The court ruled that the parks office extended its actions "into the realm of legislating."

People visit our state parks to enjoy a safe, family friendly environment. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the "CDC") has determined that exposure to secondhand smoke is extremely hazardous to the health of both children and adults. Therefore, it is imperative that we abolish secondhand smoke in our state parks and allow the citizens of our state to enjoy our parks without putting their health, or the health of their children, in jeopardy.

In children, the CDC has determined that secondhand smoke causes ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath) respiratory infections (i.e., bronchitis, pneumonia), a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In children aged 18 months or younger, the CDC has determined that secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 150,000-300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually. Secondhand smoke is also responsible for approximately 7,500-15,000 hospitalizations of children annually in the United States.

In adults who have never smoked, the CDC has determined that secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and/or lung cancer. For nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk. Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States. Secondhand smoke also increases lung cancer risk in adults. Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.

The financial impact of secondhand smoke also takes a toll on our economy. According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States, the costs of extra medical care, illness, and death caused by secondhand smoke are over 510 billion per year.

This bill will legislate a ban on smoking in all New York State parks and eliminate secondhand smoke in our parks.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

De minimis cost.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6241 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SANDERS -- 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 enacting the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Smoke Free Parks Act of 2014". S 2. Section 1399-o-1 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows: 3. SMOKING SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED AND NO PERSON SHALL SMOKE IN ANY PUBLIC PARK IN THIS STATE. THE GOVERNING BODY OF A MUNICIPALITY OR POLI- TICAL SUBDIVISION WHICH OPERATES OR MAINTAINS A PUBLIC PARK OR THE STATE AGENCY OR OTHER ENTITY WHICH OPERATES OR MAINTAINS A STATE PARK MUST DISPLAY A SIGN AT THE ENTRANCE OF SUCH PUBLIC PARK STATING "ALL NEW YORK STATE PARKS ARE NOW SMOKE-FREE PARKS". ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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