New York State Parks Ordered to Stop Ban on Smoking
New York State Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia says rules put into place in February banning smoking in specific areas of New York State Parks is not supported by state legislative policy.
The judge is ordering the Parks officials to stop enforcing their ban on outdoor smoking.
The suit was brought by New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (NYC CLASH), arguing the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation exceeded its authority,
Justice Ceresia agrees that lawmakers did put restrictions on indoor smoking But the state legislature was not successful in getting restrictions on lighting up in outdoor areas passed.
Under the restrictions enacted at several parks earlier this year, violators could face a $250 fine for smoking in the wrong spot.
Following the October 8 ruling, Parks officials issued a statement saying, "State Parks has legislative authority to manage a wide variety of activities within state parks to balance often conflicting uses of our patrons." "We believe this authority extends to the regulation of outdoor smoking on playgrounds, swimming pools, beaches and other locations where children and visitors congregate."