A new bill means changes are coming to New York beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers and group camps. Some Empire State residents may like this new law while others won't.

On Friday, New York Gov. Katy Hochul signed a bill that prohibits smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps.

Smoking Banned at New York State Parks, Beaches

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"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 stated. "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."

State officials say in addition to the health risks from secondhand smoke, cigarette butts are a "major environmental hazard due to the non-biodegradable filters that are discarded."

Cigarette butts are the leading item found during cleanup projects.

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Officials believe this new law will keep New York beaches and parks cleaner and make the local ecosystems after.

New York Residents Could Be Fined if Caught

Anyone caught smoking in these areas could face a $50 civil fine, officials say.

"New York's public parks are family-friendly venues. No one, especially children, should be subjected to secondhand smoke while playing on a playground or enjoying the day at a public beach or campsite. Our parks also shouldn't be tainted by non-biodegradable cigarette butts scattered throughout their grounds," State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said.

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Adirondacks, Catskills Exmpeted From New Rules

The Adirondacks and Catskills are exempt from the bill, officials say. Smoking is allowed at parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes.

New Yorkers head to our parks for fresh air and to foster a healthy lifestyle. Smoking is the opposite of that. I am very pleased (that) 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," "Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz said.

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