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Public Health Advocacy Institute

at Northeastern University School of Law

360 Huntington Avenue, 117CU

Boston, MA 02115


You are here: Home > Tobacco Control > Laws of New York > New York State Tobacco Free Outdoor Air

New York State Tobacco Free Outdoor Air

Smoke-Free State Parks

New York State Administrative Regulation, 9 NYCRR §386.1. The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) adopted this administrative regulation to expand areas under its jurisdiction where smoking is prohibited.  Specifically, §386.1 prohibits smoking in areas where large numbers of people congregate and designated by the commissioner, including (but not limited to) pavilions and picnic shelters, athletic fields, outdoor seating areas near food concessions, public gardens, boardwalks, areas where outdoor environmental education programs occur and any space within 50 feet of buildings.  Smoke-free zones previously established by OPRHP include playgrounds and swimming pools. OPRHP will mark all newly designated smoke-free areas with signs. OPRHP anticipates that the public will voluntarily comply with the policy’s regulations, but maintains enforcement authority over smoke-free areas and can issue tickets and fines of up to $250 for violations. For more information on tobacco-free outdoor areas please visit our Tobacco-Free Outdoor Areas page.

Smoking and Vaping Prohibited at Playgrounds

New York Public Health Law § 1399-o-1 prohibits smoking and vaping at New York playgrounds between sunrise and sunset, when anyone under the age of twelve is present. Under the law, “playground” is defined as “any improved area which is equipped, designed and set aside for the play of at least six children” along with “all internal pathways and land formations, vegetation, play equipment, surfacing, fencing, signs, and any other related structures” within the play area. The law does not apply to playgrounds located in New York City, areas intended for use as athletic fields or courts, or playgrounds and playground equipment constructed on one, two, and three-family residential properties. County boards of health, county health districts, or designated officials will be responsible for enforcing the law, which authorizes penalties up to $2000 per violation.  Individuals may report violations to the appropriate enforcement agency.

Smoking and Vaping Prohibited on Grounds of Hospitals and Health Care Facilities

New York Public Health Law §1399-o prohibits smoking and vaping outdoors on the grounds of hospitals and residential health care facilities, including within 15 feet of a building entrance or exit or within 15 feet of the entrance to or exit from the grounds.  These facilities are required to post signs alerting the public that smoking and vaping are prohibited. “Hospital” and “residential health care facility” are defined by New York Public Health Law § 2801.

Residential health care facilities may allow patients or guests of patients to smoke or vape outdoors in a separate area on the grounds designated as a smoking and vaping area, provided such designated smoking and vaping area is not within thirty feet of any building structure (other than a non-residential structure wholly contained within the designated smoking and vaping area), including any overhang, canopy,  awning, entrance, exit, window, intake or exhaust. Facilities that violate this law may face penalties pursuant to New York Public Health Law §1399-v.

Smoking and Vaping Restricted Near Schools

New York Public Health Law §1399-o prohibits smoking and vaping within 100 feet of entrances or exits of public or private educational institutions or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary school.

County boards of health, county health districts, or designated officials will be responsible for enforcing this and other smoking restrictions found under ATUPA. Violations of this and other smoking restrictions can be reported to these enforcement officers. In New York City violations can be reported online with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. If a violation of this restriction is found, a civil penalty may be imposed which can total as much as $2,000 for the first violation.


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