A New York City-based smokers’ rights group is suing the state, demanding “Smoking Prohibited” signs be removed from areas in state parks where consuming cigarettes isn’t actually illegal, Gannett’s Jessica Bakeman reports.
The group, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, or C.L.A.S.H., had objected in May to the implementation of a smoking ban by the state
Office of Parks, Recreations and Historic Preservation without legislative authority.
The agency withdrew the ban but did not remove signs alerting park-goers that smoking was not allowed in many parts of the park.
“The intentional use of signage to fool park visitors into thinking that an unofficial policy has the force of law as a coercive tactic to induce compliance with a moral, rather than a legal, dictate cannot be tolerated,” Audrey Silk, founder of C.L.A.S.H., said in a Monday news release. “Government is taking its war on smokers to the new contemptible level…. Rogue governance is a threat to all.”
Dan Keefe, spokesman for the parks office, declined Tuesday on the suit, but said the signage would still be in place. Filed in Albany County, it names the agency and its commissioner, Rose Harvey.
“We are moving ahead with adopting the regulation formalizing these common-sense limits on smoking within the 350,000 acre park system,”
Keefe said in an email, regarding the signage.
Silk said smokers enjoying state parks July 4 should just ignore the notices: “Feel free to assert your independence from tyranny and smoke ’em if ya got ’em because the signs are a lie.”