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Ossining's Galef Pushing Playground Smoking Ban

OSSINING, N.Y. – Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) thinks now is the time to ban smoking in playgrounds statewide, and Ossinining and Rockland officials are backing her up.

Galef and state Sen. David Carlucci (D-Clarkstown) announced Wednesday at Ossining’s Louis Engel Waterfront Park that they are pushing legislation to ban smoking in public parks where children under 12 years old are present. The proposed legislation passed the Assembly this year but had not found a sponsor in the Senate until Carlucci joined the cause in June.

“In this way we can eliminate the exposure that young people have to smoke,” Galef said Wednesday, later acknowledging that enforcement of the law could be difficult. “From the Assembly side, some of (the issue) is enforcement. … We’re trying to have the enforcement done by other people.”

Galef referred to the Town of Ossining’s recently passed legislation banning smoking in town parks as an example for the state to follow. Galef also applauded recent laws banning smoking on MTA platforms , restaurants and New York City parks .

“We have to get something passed for the playgrounds,” Galef said. “I am so pleased to live in the Town of Ossining, where they have adopted legislation very recently to protect our children.”

Carlucci said the latest bill focuses on keeping secondhand smoke away from children.

“By reducing secondhand smoke for our children, we will not only make sure they have a healthy, productive life and a great quality of life, but also start to chip away at the extraordinary health care costs that are impacting our state and our nation,” he said. “When there are children around, you’ve got to put that cigarette out.”

It’s an issue that 16-year-old Tarrytown resident Dan Graap is familiar with from working with Reality Check , a state program aimed at keeping secondhand smoke away from kids. Graap said he would be very happy if the legislation was passed and added that he is not looking to take away people’s right to smoke.

“It’s about caring more for the next generation,” Graap said. “I don’t have an opinion on other public areas, but in places that are meant for children like playgrounds, I really don’t think it’s right.”

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