Smoking anything other than a grill or a campfire at Broome County parks may soon become much more difficult. In a move that mirrors other ordinances recently enforced or proposed across New York, the Broome County Legislature is planned to vote next week on a new ordinance prohibiting smoking in approximately all places of its parks. “We’re finding out more and more every day about the harmful effects of tobacco smoke and smoking exposure,” argued Broome County Legislator Joseph Merrill, D-District 2, who sponsored the decision. “We should all be moving towards this.”
The law received key committee-level approval too this week that was needed to send it before the full ordinance at its conference September 20.
The prohibition would affect nine county-owned places: Aqua Terra Park, Cole Park, Dorchester Park, Finch Hollow Park, Greenwood Park, Grippen Park, Hawkins Pond, Otsiningo Park and Round Top Park.
“It’s an important move because it can protect people from smoking exposure, and we know that second-hand smoke exposure is injurious especially to people with heart-disease and asthma,” reported Sandy Fischer, smoking control coordinator for the Broome County Health Department.
A new version of the law was introduced last month, but lawmakers put it on hold after interest arose that smokers may be forced to nearby roadways for to smoke. Under the revised new proposal, smoking would be permitted in parking lots and at overnight camp sites.