TOWN OF HUNTINGTON, New York, October 2
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
The Town of Huntington is set to soon expand its ban of using tobacco and herbal products to public beaches.
Previously, town law only covered public playgrounds, but an amendment, adopted Sept. 16 by the Huntington Town Board, will expand that. The law will become effective as soon it is filed with the State’s Office of the Secretary of State.
“I have been exploring this measure over the past two years, stemming from numerous concerns from local residents,” Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, the measure’s sponsor, said. “I am pleased that we have passed a common-sense measure to limit exposure to secondhand smoke at our wonderful beaches.”
In its expanded state, the law prohibits the use of “tobacco [and] herbal product cigarette[s], pipe[s] and cigar[s]” at any point past “no smoking” signs at outdoor beaches – just as it already does for playgrounds. Electronic cigarettes and “hookah pens,” Cuthbertson said, are not regulated by this law, but the devices are currently being investigated by the town.
These “no smoking” signs will not extend to the parking lots of town beaches – which include Crab Meadow, Geisslers, Asharoken, Hobart, Centerport, Fleet’s Cove, Crescent, Gold Star Battalion and Quentin Sammis/West Neck Beaches.
“This legislation is not designed to place a ban on smoking at our beaches entirely,” Cuthbertson said. “It’s simply asking that if you are at the beach, you give people the courtesy of going to the parking lot.”
If someone is found to be smoking in a non-smoking area, though, he said they could be subject to ejection and a possible summons or fine.
The councilman said that New York State already has a similar law in place for its beaches and playgrounds and that this expanded piece of local legislation is in line with that of the state.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, October 2, 2014; A3)