MOREAU -- Lighting up a cigarette Monday afternoon, William Reddington, of New Jersey, hadn’t noticed the signs that said tobacco products were prohibited at the Moreau Lake State Park beach.

He was visiting the park with his girlfriend and had just changed into beach clothes when he noticed the “smokers post” next to a bench outside the breezeway entrance to the beach area.

“I can see not smoking by the kids or something,” Reddington said, adding the edict against smoking wouldn’t change his views of the state parks system, of which he is a regular patron, he said.

But the smoking ban — at specific public areas in Moreau Lake State Park and other state parks — is unlikely to be enforceable this summer.

The signs, which were put up in April after the Parks Department enacted the ban, remain even though the state has rolled back the prohibition.

That happened after a New York City smokers’ rights group challenged the Parks Department last month for not following its own rules-making procedures.

To enact the ban, the department has to file a “regulatory impact statement” and then allow a 45-day public comment period.

Dan Keefe, a spokesman with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said Monday the required paperwork is likely to be published in “a couple of weeks.”

After that, the 45-day public comment period begins, he said.

Still, signs telling visitors not to smoke aren’t new at Moreau Lake State Park, where similar signs had been in place for at least two years as part of a “pilot program” to reduce smoking at the park’s beach and concession areas, Keefe said.

Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks and Trails New York, said Monday she hadn’t heard of any acts of “civil disobedience,” which were called for by NYC C.L.A.S.H., the smokers’ rights group that challenged the parks rule.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Founder Audrey Silk had encouraged smokers to ignore the rule at New York City parks.

In particular, she took issue with the state’s

decision to leave the signs in place.

“There’s nothing (on the signs) to imply that the prohibition is unenforceable, which it now clearly is,” Silk said in a prepared statement. “The Office of Parks’ behavior goes from bad to worse — from at least the facade of official policy-making to settling for simply fooling people with unofficial signs.”

Dropkin, however, said the rule is likely to go into force after the comment period is finished, mainly because such a large portion of residents are OK with it.

“I’m sure (smokers) feel very persecuted just because our whole society is moving steadfastly toward no smoking in public,” Dropkin said.

At Saratoga Spa State Park, the smoking ban will eventually prohibit tobacco products on the Victoria Pool deck, the Peerless Pool deck, the Geyser area playground and the Peerless area playgrounds.

A list of the designated

nonsmoking areas at all parks is available at Visitors should click on “press releases” under the “Newsroom” tab at the top of the site. Links to the list can be found in the press release for “smoke free areas remain at New York state parks.”

(22) comments

Sceptical Mass

Yet drive by Hearthstone or Fort George Park and you'll be choked by the fumes from campfires and no one says squat. But smoke next to the campfire and you'll get heat from people as they dodge the wreaths of sticky and gummy pine smoke that they claim adds "atmosphere" to camping out.

We're easy to hate, to despise even, and we may be freely sneered at and subject to cutting remarks even when well out of the area of "clean" outdoor air and doing our very best to not bother anyone. We're jammed together without hesitation, like cattle in a railroad car, because somehow we're perceived to be subhuman these days when we indulge, even in our rapidly shrinking share of the outdoors. Yet on "bad" days in downtown Glens Falls on Glen St. you can hardly breathe for the automobile exhaust but you'll catch a series of sneers for lighting up.

Hey, everyone NEEDS someone they can freely be cruel to without feeling guilty about it. Yep, people like to be bigots, and we're the target of them.


Well said, Mass. Not only do some people feel better by bashing others, but they'll go as far as making nonsensical statements to suppress our right to the pursuit of happiness. You have to be 18 to smoke in NY, but sensitive-nosed newshound doesn't want you smoking around 20 year olds. Perhaps the PS should start sensoring idiotic, intolerant comments, because impressionable children might read them.


Very true!!!


I love that the website is NY, but you can't! (well, you can, but they'll try to trick you out of it)


Love it had to sit by a cig smoker and cigar smoker at lg state beach yesterday..go kill yourself someplace private, i dont want to smell it and if the ban keeps you away oh well..its ok with me..there should be no smoking allowed anywhere except someones private property and if they have children under 21 it should be illegal t smoke in a car or house where they ever are.


@ "Newshound" If I smell your camp fire/grill and I have to smell it (and it's smoke..A LOT of SMOKE with any camp fire/grill), then take your camp fire and go back home, to your own private property.....I don't want to smell the waves of burning embers in my clothes....coming from your camp fire, that were not only (smell) on my clothes, but that I also breathed in...


@ Newshound : I don't even smoke but would start just to blow it right in your face.


LOL @ Betty73.....Good one!


Apparently smokers think they have more rights than no smokers. I'm sorry we don't want to breathe in your disgusting second hand smoke. Go smoke in your car or in your house. Public spaces should always be smoke free. The rest of us prefer our air clean.


Actually, it's the non* smokers who think they have more rights, which you clearly pointed out. I don't want to hear your disgusting, oppressive, intolerant blabbering, but I would never try to take away your right to spew it. Public spaces should be available to everyone, to enjoy them the way they please. By the way, if you are truly looking for "clean" air, try a different planet, 'cause you won't find it here.


People that bathe with perfume, have rancid body odor, burn garbage in an outside "furnace", or use woodstoves/fireplaces, that also create A LOT of smoke.....more than a cigarette....Why not jump on that issue too???? Let's be realistic here!! I agree with some (cigarette smoking) limitations.....but, this is now going WAY overboard.


you are so right!


I'm not a smoker however correct me if I'm wrong here...Second hand SMOKE from cigarettes greatly differes from smoke from your grill or campfire. Although your personal opinion may be that smoke from grill or campfires are not plesant to inhale, second hand SMOKE from cigarettes can be and IS deadly!!! When I bring my family & KIDS out to a public event, I don't want to have to worry about what they are inhaling. I am not against public smoking areas being available, but keep it FAR away from the public area, including bathrooms!! My husband is a tabacco user, so I understand the addiction, but keep it to yourself. Don't expose the rest of US!!!!!!


You are wrong. The second-hand smoke argument was debunked over a decade ago. You won't get cancer from smelling tobacco smoke occasionally, same way you don't die from breathing the carbon monoxide from cars passing by on the street. The first hand smoke from grills or campfires is considerably more concentrated with carcinogenic particles, and also in a greater volume than cigarette smoke. Second hand tobacco smoke is not deadly, first hand campfire smoke certainly can be. Next time you make smores for your kids, think about all the campfire smoke that sticks to those marshmallows, which you are feeding to them. If you inhale some smoke, at least you will exhale most of it. If you eat it, it is all digested into your body.


I object to the mess that smokers leave behing. Why don't they ever seem to put their waste in the trash? I hate the butts all over the ground. They seem to have no respect for others. The parks are full of garbage because of these people. I notice they throw all kinds of trash besides cigarette butts. I have watched these smokers and they are the messest people I know. I used to work with smokers and they are unwilling to pick up after themselves.


What I meant to say is that smokers tend to be unwilling to disguard their mess in the trash receptacles. They have the right to destroy their own bodies with cancer causing substances, but they do not have the right to pollute the area with garbage on the ground. I never see the police make they pick up the trash that they throw all over the parks; cigarette butts, cigarette packages. They throw that stuff everywhere and act like the world is their ashtray that they refuse to empty. Smokers expect others to pick up after them. I know this because I used to work with them.


Do you ever see the police tell non-smokers to pick up the trash they throw all over the parks? Or anywhere else? No, you don't. Littering is not only done by smokers. It's done by everyone, and since 80% of everyone are non-smokers, 80% of litter must come from non-smokers as well. Fast food wrappers and soda bottles appear to be the most common form of litter. Fat people have no respect for themselves or others. I know this because I used to work with them. Yes, all of them, just like you!

someone in glens falls

I have an idea. Why don't you smokers smoke an e-cigarette? It's cheaper, no lighters, no butts, and there is only vapor no smell or toxins to those around you. It seems like the way to go these days. Then maybe you could taper off those as well, and just quit. Just a thought.


Many places still even ban e-cigarettes. Aviation Mall's policy states you can't even smoke an e-cigarette ANY where on their property. It is a very good idea and it seems to be a win/win for both smokers and non smokers. It just doesn't make sense to me banning the e-cigs PERIOD.


Smokers tend to be angry people. Wow, I can't believe the venom that they spew at anyone who dares to suggest that they pick up after their dirty habit. What gives them the idea that other people should be obligated to pick up their cigarette butts and disguarded packages? Smoking should be confined to the smokers property. In that way, they would be faced with their own filth instead of throwing it all over the place where other people have to see the mess.


Smokers tend to be angry people? Where do U get this from? I (unfortunately) still am a smoker and I do not discard my cig butts anywhere. I am also a very considerate smoker and do not light up in close proximity to others. I have supported laws to ban smoking indoors, airplanes ect. I don't support parts of the Aviation Mall ban. Not smoking by entrances I agree with. Not to have a cigarette in your own car is just simply going overboard. To ban an e-cigarette, ANYWHERE, is just crazy and ludicrous. I have a feeling that if you got your way, by confining smoking to smoker's properties, you still wouldn't be happy. Even though I am a smoker, I don't like being choked by other's campfires, grills, perfume/colognes. It gives me good laugh, when parents have no problem with their campfire smoke, going up childrens noses, but have a problem with a cigarette at a neighboring campsite. U R painting all smokers with same paint brush. We aren't all as portray us to be.


Smokers deserve to be angry, especially at you. You're lying about us spewing venom when someone suggests we pick up our garbage. There is not a single comment here that supports your statement. Most smokers would be happy to through their trash away, but most anti-smoking establishments (like Aviation Mall and Moreau Park) don't even provide a place to dispose of them properly. You say smoking should be confined to the smokers property, to which I say, all consumers of all products that create waste should be confined to their own property, to face their own filth. I have 1/4 mile of road frontage on my property, and once a week I pick up half a dozen beer cans and soda bottles, and usually a bag of fast food garbage. As I said earlier, 80% of litter is from non-smokers. The venom comes when you lie, call us names, and try to prevent us from enjoying what we like, in our theoretically "free" country. Also, most non-smokers need to proof read their comments for grammar & punctuation.

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