Spencer Amends Anti-Smoking Bill

Legislator seeks to strike a balance between rights of smokers and health protection for non-smokers.

Seeking more of a balance between smokers' rights and health protection for non-smokers, Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer has modified at county-owned or operated parks and beaches.

Introduced to the Legislature May 8 by Spencer, the original bill made little to no compromises to smokers in an effort to provide residents with the highest levels of protection from secondhand smoke.

While remaining committed to limiting children's exposure to smoking, the 18th District lawmaker and doctor says smokers' rights are also important. 

"I want them to have the same rights to smoke," said Spencer to Patch. "It should be the people's choice."

The amended law would allow smoking in some areas of county parks and beaches including parking lots and entry ways, according to Spencer. Receptacles would be provided in smoking areas to help cut down on litter from cigarette butts.

In a recent unscientific , readers were fairly split on the proposed smoking ban, with 53 percent in favor.

If the bill passes, those caught smoking in banned areas may be asked to leave by park employees but no other penalties will be enforced, according to Spencer. 

Spencer's amended bill will go before the health committee Friday. A final vote is expected June 5.

douglas stretton May 25, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Hey Spence...nice effort to amend the bill but why was it drawn in the first place? We don't have California Wild Fires going on in the parks. And now...it's going to cost more money to provide recepticles to put the cigarettes in and provide cleaning. Truth be told...I've never seen a park littered with cigarette butts. Trash and beer cans...yes. Who enforces that, which can't be done. Perhaps you should take up arms on a real issue, if you want to benefit the people that elected you to office. Use your imagination...there's a lot of big issues to chose from.
FYI May 25, 2012 at 07:55 PM
If you can, take the time to read the linked report from my prior post. May give you a different perspective.
Free 2B Me May 25, 2012 at 11:52 PM
. 1. I have a disdain for the tactics Spencer used to get elected. 2. I like this bill. There are big things that need to get done too, but I can't believe it has taken this long for someone to make this proposal for Suffolk County. 3. I still have a disdain for the tactics Spencer used to get elected. 4. I am Free2B... me.
Laura May 30, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Suffolk county has alot of problems. Truth l do not care either way. High taxes, illegal red light cameras, gangs, drugs and crime many more. You are worried about smoking. Where does he live? Too many thing going on, i do not think that is why you were elected. Laura
Anthrnptr June 03, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Prohibition didn't work the first time


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