In April, New York State announced a new smoking ban that impacts all state parks, including beaches like Jones Beach State Park. The parks department can issue disorderly conduct violations for smokers who light up in banned areas.
According to the Associated Press, a smokers' rights group called CLASH is currently challenging the Office of Parks' authority to institute the ban, without going through the state legislature.
The Town of Bablyon currently prohibits smoking at bay beaches like Tanner Park and Venetian Shores and the entryways of town-owned buildings but does not enforce any anti-smoking rules on ocean beaches. Some Long Island municipalities ban smoking more broadly, including Huntington, which bans smoking at playgrounds, and the Village of Southampton, which doesn't permit it in any village parks.
Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino says that the village discourages smoking in public areas of parks, like the pavilion at the Gilbert C. Hanse municipal pool, but that if someone wants to smoke in a more secluded area, like parts of the sandy beach around the pool, they are allowed.
We want to know what Babylon Village Patch readers think about the state smoking ban. Have you been affected by secondhand smoke on a public beach or in a park? Do you think this infringes on personal rights? Do you think local parks should regulate smoking more or less?