June 18, 2012

Assembly Approves Bill to Prohibit Smoking
Outside of Elementary or Secondary Schools

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz today announced the approval of legislation that would further protect children and young adults from the detrimental effects of secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking within 100 feet of entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary school.

"Our children should not be exposed to the health risks of secondhand smoke because of the actions of others. Through the approval of this bill we are limiting students' exposure to secondhand smoke, protecting them from tobacco-related diseases and addiction," said Silver.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke exposure causes acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in young children. Along with respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness among school-aged children and young adults, even brief secondhand smoke exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, sponsor of the legislation, said, "New York State successfully banned smoking indoors to protect all New Yorkers from the harmful side effects of secondhand smoke. This bill [A.10141-B] seeks to further protect our youth who are now exposed to secondhand smoke at entrances and exits of their school buildings from unwanted exposure. Smoking is particularly dangerous to children. This bill will help to protect them from the scourge of secondhand smoke."