Breathe Fresh Air Again in NYS Parks

Riverbank State Park Carousel

Riverbank State Park Carousel

New York State (NYS) is planning to go smoke-free in certain areas at NYS parks, recreational facilities, and historic sites.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has proposed regulations that would prohibit smoking near playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools and other highly used areas at state-operated parks and historic sites.

The NYC Coalition strongly supports NYS’s adoption of these regulations.  Since May of 2011, New York City parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas have been smoke-free thanks to legislation overwhelmingly supported by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg.

The Coalition applauds the proposed rules designating state parks in New York City, which are some of the most frequently visited parks in the state, as entirely smoke-free, both because of their relative-size and the existing city parks policy.

Time Out New York Kids, an essential resource for NYC’s fastest-growing subculture, curious kids and their parents, has endorsed NYC smoke-free parks and beaches.  The magazine will remind New Yorkers of the anniversary and said, “Because of the year-old smoking ban, parents no longer need to worry about their kids inhaling secondhand smoke in parks or beaches—something we may now take for granted but are nonetheless thankful for.”

Risa Goldberg, founder of Big City Moms, one of the biggest mom groups in NYC said, “Big City Moms is thrilled that NY’s parks and beaches are smoke-free.  Our children can enjoy our city’s parks and beaches without breathing in secondhand smoke or see adults smoke.  Kids should get a lesson on how to enjoy the outdoors, play baseball, or swim, not on how to smoke cigarettes.”

We’re glad the State is following the lead of NYC and plans to make all our state parks a place where kids can breathe clean, smoke-free air where they play.  To read the NYC Coalition’s full public comment, click here.