Smoke Free Areas Remain at New York State Parks

ALBANY, NY (05/29/2012)(readMedia)-- The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today confirmed its plan to designate smoke-free areas in limited outdoor settings within state parks and historic sites where large numbers of people congregate, including around playgrounds and pools and within all State Parks in New York City.

State Parks is moving forward with a process to formalize the smoking restrictions under the state's regular rulemaking process, which requires the agency to publish a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) in the State Register and hold a 45-day public comment period. The RIS is expected to be published by the end of the month. During this period, State Park Police officers will defer issuing tickets to people who smoke in designated non-smoking areas.

Signage at each outdoor location where smoking is prohibited will remain in place. State Parks will ask visitors who smoke to comply with the non-smoking designations out of courtesy to non-smoking patrons. The voluntary compliance model has been successful at numerous State Parks, where smoke-free areas have been piloted in previous years.

Smoking is allowed outdoors elsewhere within the 350,000-acre state park system. A listing of the designated non-smoking areas is available on State Parks' website,