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Mar 10, 2010 12:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Parts of Southampton Village parks and beaches may become smoke-free

Mar 10, 2010 12:45 PM

Smoking may soon be prohibited in certain outdoor areas of Southampton Village—including one popular ocean beach—under new legislation that Mayor Mark Epley is set to propose tonight, March 11, at the public meeting of the Village Board.

The proposed law will seek to outlaw smoking for public health and environmental reasons at Windward Way Park, Downs Family Park and the playground section of Agawam Park, as well as Coopers Beach, the village’s only beach with public concession stands. Mr. Epley said that he is targeting areas where children congregate, and his goal is to have the legislation in place by this summer.

If the board approves a resolution enacting the new rules, a public hearing on the proposed change to the village code would likely take place in April, after announcements have been posted in the local newspaper for at least 10 days. Once the public hearing is closed, the legislation would be sent to the state, which would have 45 days to enact it.

The penalty for violators may be up to a $1,000 fine and 14 days in jail.

Anti-smoking issues holds particular concern for the mayor, whose father died of smoking-related lung cancer.

The idea for banning smoking at some of the village’s parks and beaches arose after the Tobacco Coalition of Long Island, a community partnership funded by the New York State Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program, broached the topic with the village. The coalition’s mission is to “increase the acceptance of non-smoking as the social norm.”

So far, the Town of Huntington is the only municipality in Suffolk County to have tobacco-free policies for playgrounds.

“People are striving for a healthier lifestyle,” said Mr. Epley. “The people at the parks tend to be people who exercise and want the fresh air, so this is a support mechanism.”

The Village Board has so far greeted the proposal favorably, the mayor said.

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Let's see, Coopers Beach and Agawam Park will be smoke-free. Am I missing something, or are these wide-open public spaces with plenty of wind moving through?

14 days in jail? Don't we have bigger issues to deal with?

No wonder our property taxes are so high!

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 10, 10 6:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are not missing a damn thing. This is all about a bunch of people having nothing to do but complain about nothing.
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 10 12:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well , well what a surprise? I have been awaiting this day for a long time. It starts with one or two public areas here and there and before you know it, you won't be able to smoke anywhere.
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 10 12:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Is smoking still legal?
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Mar 11, 10 4:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Roll up your windows and smoke in your car to your heart's content. Pollute your lungs, not mine or my child's. All that wind will blow your dirty smoke around to those who don't wish to be exposed.
Finally, Epley is doing something I'm grateful for.
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on Mar 11, 10 7:45 AM
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on Mar 11, 10 8:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
It starts with the villages, and then the town adapts, and then the county, etc... so if you want to continue to enjoy that cigar you should be fighting this every step of the way
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 10 10:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Aaron, think before you post things.What does this have to do with Wickapogue being paved?
By courtesy (43), Southampton on Mar 12, 10 12:04 AM
And please, at the same time make it a cell phone free zone as well - being forced to listen to the constant babble on the streets might lead to permanent brain damage! For the listener that is.
By scrittipoliti (1), East Hampton on Mar 11, 10 9:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
I used to like to go to carnivals but I had to walk though clouds of choking smoke. It was hard to breathe and I got nauseous. So I don't go to those kind of outdoor events anymore. My husband died of smoking related cancer - he was a smoker. Are all you smokers so certain that you want to continue smoking? Must the rest of us smoke along with you? Why don't you try to quit before the doctor gives you the bad news and then it's too late.
By darwin (47), southampton on Mar 11, 10 12:39 PM
The same way it is hard to breathe and we get nauseous from you spraying way more perfume/cologne, if you can call it that, than necessary on yourselves. What's next? Let's control how much perfume you can spray, or what kind of food we can eat, or how people drive, or talking on the cell phone in public, or how much I eat or should I continue. While I agree that kids should not be exposed to smoking, I also believe that all of us are afforded the right to do as we please to ourselves. Until ...more
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 10 7:08 PM
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A set of rights was developed by Adam Smith. You can have your freedoms but as soon as that freedom intersects with my freedoms their are laws to say what you can do and can't do. My father died of cancer due to smoking, it becomes many years of bad health,then horrible pain, then death. I tired of paying high health premiums for unhealthy and sickly cigarette smokers. Why shoudn't you pay outrageous premiums to cover your costs to health care. You want to smoke,you pay!!!!
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Mar 15, 10 3:55 PM
Totally separate argument. Stick with the subject at hand. I'd pay more for healthcare as a smoker by the way if that was the case. Funny thing is there are many more problems in this world than smoking bans in open spaces. Next time you go to a Mets game, why don't you call the City of NY, even better Mayor Bloomberg, and tell him how you are tired of the pollution from the trucks, factories, airplanes, etc... Bottom line is this is open space that is supposed to be shared by all, smokers, ...more
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 17, 10 10:10 PM
I thikn a compromise is in order. You can smoke at Coopers only when you're actually underwater. At Agawam Park you can only smoke if you can get one of the ducks to light your lighter for you. Downs Park is tricky. If you're there watching a game and your kid hits into a triple play, you're allowed to smoke 1 cigarette. If he hits a Grand Slam in the same game, 3 cigarettes. If your kid makes an error, you must force the child to start smoking (without it being called abuse) in front of everyone ...more
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Mar 12, 10 9:11 AM
This is amazing, 14 days in jail? Why not the death penalty?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 12, 10 9:15 PM
To many control freaks in office
By dbnyeve (19), wading river on Mar 13, 10 8:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Now that you mention it, there are other gaseous problems in these public spaces, which should be punished by a minimum of 7 days in jail.

Let's start with flatulence in public (would the real word "f*rting" "pass by" the censors here?), now there is a REAL problem . . .

Of course, passing gas in the meeting room of the Village Board should result in an equally severe punishment -- perhaps 10 days in jail due to the confined space involved? When can we install the sensors? Censors? ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 13, 10 2:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
I think they should let the people smoke if they want.

But if they get caught flicking the butt into the sand or onto the grass, immediate 14 day prison term. no trial.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Mar 13, 10 5:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree, It should be treated as arson...no excuses.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 13, 10 7:09 PM
I have to say arson would be a stretch.... especially in the sand! Flicking the butts should be treated as littering. For some reason it is overlooked & is one of the most commonly littered items. A fine of $500 would be a decent deterrent, if enforced could go along way towards servicing our Town's debt.
Jail would be nice, but far too expensive.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Mar 13, 10 8:34 PM
You are right...I would call it arson if the grass catches fire. Community service and a fine of $500 plus would work for me.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 13, 10 10:03 PM
14 days in jail? you dont even get 14 days in jail for smoking pot. this is pretty nuts
By local223 (4), southampton on Mar 16, 10 2:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
You want to smoke a cigar, find some non-public place. Cigar smoke is disgusting and so is your breath. We are not control freaks, it's just that for the really stupid and ignorant, you have to make it a law. I'm tired of paying inflated health insurance premiums for their 'freedoms'. Go to France,they still smoke like it's the 20th century.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Mar 13, 10 5:56 PM
I wish people wouldnt smoke outside of the grocery store either. They stand right outside the door and we are forced to breathe in their foul smoke as we walk into the store.My son has asthma and he knows that when he sees them he has to hold his breath. Fine if you want to smoke, have at it, but I dont .
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Mar 15, 10 10:58 AM
to Puros. Honey, you don't just get cancer and then you get a little sick and then you die. It's gruesome, drawn out, painful, and horrible. Do yourself a favor and quit smoking. You don't want to die that way. And, you don't want to put your loved ones through that.
By darwin (47), southampton on Mar 15, 10 1:43 PM
Prison for smoking is extreme. Cigarette butts everywhere is the problem. Why can't Southampton and East Hampton towns fine property owners who won't remove trash from out front along their roads if the towns cannot afford anymore to maintain the public roads? It would take about 10 minutes a month.
By baleine (1), southampton on Mar 16, 10 1:56 PM
14 days in jail. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
By local223 (4), southampton on Mar 16, 10 2:15 PM
Let's ban cell phones at all beaches, it's annoying to hear people talking on them while on their beach blanket next to me.($100 fine). Let's ban suntan lotion and perfume at all beaches because their smell is repulsive to me.($25 fine) Let's ban small children on all our beaches because they always get sand on me while running by($5.fine) Let's ban frisbee's($20 fine). Let's ban radios($20 fine), Let's ban beach umbrellas because they block my views($15 fine). Let's ban ugly people, remember this ...more
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Mar 16, 10 9:42 PM
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Your right , Johnny Nova, why shouldn't we be allowed to smoke in the supermarket,malls,movie theaters,stadiums[that's a good one,that's outside]. We did all those things before. Look at all the freedom that has been taken away. When confronted with opposite views, the unintelligent attacks personally. Good for your dad,see smoking or second hand smoke really isn't harmful.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Mar 17, 10 9:10 AM
1 member liked this comment