New York Governor Kathy Hochull signed legislation Friday prohibiting smoking on all state-owned parks and campgrounds, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, and recreation centers.
According to a report, violators will be penalized $50.
“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.
“New York’s public parks are family-friendly venues. No one, especially children, should be subjected to secondhand smoke while playing on a playground or enjoying the day at a public beach or campsite. Our parks also shouldn’t be tainted by non-biodegradable cigarette butts scattered throughout their grounds,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.
However, campers react differently.
Sandy Sweeney is camping with her family at Hamlin Beach over the weekend.
She wasn’t aware of the law signed by the governor, which prohibits smoking at state-owned beaches, parks, and campgrounds.
Sweeney said that those who pay for campsites should be able to smoke there.
“If you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it,” said Sweeney, “Well, we can have campfires, and if people want to smoke, they can smoke. I am an ex-smoker, so for me personally, I don’t smoke, but I think people should have the choice to decide for themselves.”
Isaac Rodriguez also dislikes the new law.
He said Governor Hochul should focus on cleaning cities rather than prohibiting smoking cigarettes.
“I just visited Boston not too long ago, and the city is so clean, but in Rochester, there’s just garbage everywhere,” said Rodriguez, “We don’t really focus on maintaining our city and keeping it clean, inside it, we are worried about banning smoking at campgrounds. We need to take care of our city.”
There are exceptions to this law, including the Catskills and the Adirondacks.
Smoking in state park parking lots will be permitted.
The governor and lawmakers who supported the bill believe that New Yorkers deserve to breathe fresh air–free of second-hand smoke.
The new law will take effect in 90 days.
The law applies to tobacco and cannabis. E-cigarettes and vaping aren’t covered. However, the park system already restricts the use of these products.
This story originally appeared on WHAM.