NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Kathy Hochul is giving New Yorkers a breath of fresh air by banning smoking at state beaches and parks.
Hochul signed legislation Friday prohibiting smoking on all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps.
People who violate the new rule will be fined $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," Hochul said. "I'm proud to sign this legislation that will protect New Yorker's health and help reduce litter in public parks and beaches across the state."
Many municipalities and local governments already have restrictions or bans on smoking in public spaces.
This additional step will enforce a statewide prohibition and includes a fine that will be collected by localities.
"New York's public parks are family friendly venues," state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said. "No one, especially children, should be subjected to secondhand smoke while playing on a playground or enjoying the day at a public beach or camp site."
Supporters say the prohibition will keep parks and beaches cleaner and safer, along with protecting local ecosystems.
"New Yorkers head to our parks for fresh air and to foster a healthy lifestyle," Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz said. "Smoking is the opposite of that. I am very pleased the Governor Hochul has signed into law this important statewide ban on smoking in parks, and thank you to my colleagues for their vital support on this bill over the years."
The Adirondacks and Catskills are exempt, as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes.
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