Skip to comments.NY State Parks are Ordered to Halt Outdoor Smoking Ban
Posted on 10/14/2013 7:10:45 AM PDT by beaversmom
ALBANY, N.Y. New York state parks officials must stop enforcing their recent ban on outdoor smoking, a state judge ordered, agreeing with a smokers' rights group that the state exceeded its authority.
The February rules establishing no-smoking areas at various parks, including popular beaches and all nine state parks within New York City, aren't supported by any policy set by the Legislature, state Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia said. The city has a separate outdoor smoking ban for its parks and beaches that wasn't challenged in this lawsuit.
The judge noted that while lawmakers enacted restrictions on indoor smoking, the Assembly and Senate have attempted but failed to target smoking in outdoor parks. "In the court's view, this is a strong indication that the Legislature is uncertain of how to address the issue," he wrote.
Officials from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said they enacted the rules to protect visitors from secondhand smoke. Officials didn't immediately reply Friday to requests for comment.
Ceresia wrote that the broad language of the state parks law doesn't empower the office "to promulgate rules regulating conduct bearing any tenuous relationship to park patrons' health or welfare." He ordered parks officials to take down the no smoking signs related to the outdoor ban.
While acknowledging the state's position that you don't need to be an expert to understand that secondhand smoke is "deleterious to the health of nonsmokers, especially children," the judge wrote that he was expressing no opinion on the wisdom of outdoor smoking regulations should they be enacted with proper authority to do so.
The lawsuit was brought by NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment. "This ban was imposed by bureaucratic fiat, not legislated law, and on that basis, alone, it's unconstitutional," said Audrey Silk, the group's founder.
"It was certainly a vindication of individual rights in the face of government overreach," said attorney Edward Paltzik.
Brett Joshpe, his co-counsel, said the issue with the parks under New York City jurisdiction is different, since those restrictions have City Council backing, but there may be another avenue of legal attack there.
The New York Attorney General's Office, which is defending the state park rules, is reviewing the decision along with parks officials, a spokesman said Friday.
I actually agree with the judge but smokers are pigs leaving the butts all over Kingdom Come
Idiots worried about cig smoke in open air but millions of running cars doesn’t bother them. Lock yourself in a room with a chain smoker then lock yourself in a room with a running car. See which will do the most harm. Ever notice too that many pot smokers are anti tobacco? Go figure.
Hey! Even little birdies need tampax!
“Sarks” - Scottish nightshirts? ;^]
” but smokers are pigs”
Don’t let your cowboys, grow up, to babies...
Just heard a pot story from Denver this morning. Mayor (Dem) wants to pass something where you can’t inflict the smoke on others. Will try to find and link here.
Would you correct Sarks to Parks if you have a moment? :)
Lol...didn’t notice the typo until you made mention. :) Thanks.
Denver floats new rules that could make even the odor of pot a crime
But at least I learned a new word. Now I just need to use it in a sentence so I won’t forget. :)
What about second hand auto exhaust?
But wait, isn’t this the “law”
They wouldn’t want to ignore the “law” now would they?
“...aren’t supported by any policy set by the Legislature...”
Well, this is NY, after all. That oversight can be fixed quick, fast, and in a hurry!
I’ve gotta say, a day at Dodger Stadium is a lot nicer not otherwise hacking on the smoke of thousands around you.
Well I gotta say, too, I don’t miss it at restaurants here in Denver. :)
Sarks - Scottish nightshirts?”
I thought it was “socks” with a Bostonian accent. Like “Cubar.”
Just a couple thousand fat bast**ds drinking beer and farting. Can’t see how that would be better.
Is part of that problem due to the removal of sand pails for the butts by the anti-smoking crowd. ???