Smoking ban in State Parks struck down by state supreme court judge

ALBANY, N.Y. – A policy implemented earlier this year that banned smoking in state parks, is no more after a State Supreme Court Judge's ruling.

Park officials will now have to take down the no smoking signs in and around the parks in the Capital Region. But, the Attorney General's Office is defending the state park rules Friday night and a spokesperson tells NEWS10 ABC they will be reviewing the decision with the state parks department. 

In February New York State Parks adopted a new policy “no lighting up within state parks,” including beaches, playgrounds and pools. A few months after the ban on smoking was implemented, a New York City non-profit organization called New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) challenged the parks' rules.

This week a State Supreme Court Judge in Albany struck down the Parks' policy, demanding park officials to stop enforcing the outdoor smoking ban.

Judge George Ceresia stated the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation “extended their reach beyond interstitial rulemaking and into the realm of legislating.” 

Audrey Silk, the founder of NYC CLASH says it's a victory for them.

Meanwhile NYS Parks says it will be considering an appeal of the court's decision. In a statement a spokesperson says “State Parks has legislative authority to manage a wide variety of activities within state parks to balance often conflicting use of our patrons. We believe this authority extends to the regulation of outdoor smoking on playgrounds, swimming pools, beaches and other locations where children and visitors congregate.” 

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