Where there's smoke . . . there's health hazards. As more and more research underscores evidence that smoking hurts not just the one puffing, but those around him, municipalities are bolstering efforts to protect citizens from carcinogenic second hand smoke – even outdoors.
About a year ago, Southampton Village became the first East End municipality to enact a ban on smoking in certain sections of village beaches and parks. Last month Southampton Town, acting at the behest of town employees, banned smoking on a variety of town properties.
East Hampton Village is next.
According to village administrator Larry Cantwell, the proposed ban of smoking on the deck at the Main Beach pavilion and within 50 feet of any playground apparatus at Herrick Park was prompted by a request from the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island, which has been approaching cities, towns and villages across the nation. Cantwell said a significant number of municipalities on Long Island have enacted bans. New York City recently banned lighting up in Central Park.
So far, Cantwell said, village officials haven't heard any feedback -- either for or against – the proposal. A public hearing will be held April 21 at 11 AM in the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street.
Established in 1990 the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island is one of 30 community partnerships funded by the state department of health's tobacco control program. According to the TAC website, "Our mission is to increase the acceptance of non-smoking as the social norm. Our goals are prevention, cessation and protection: the prevention of youth initiation; the cessation of tobacco use; and the protection of non-smokers. We strive to meet these goals by working through media advocacy, policy initiatives and existing tobacco education and control programs."
To learn more about the coalition, visit www.breathefreely.org