NY high court upholds outdoor smoking ban at state parks


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state’s highest court has upheld smoking restrictions in state parks, including an outright ban at seven smaller parks in New York City.

The Court of Appeals unanimously rejected arguments from a smokers’ rights group that parks officials exceeded their authority and smoking limits should be left to state lawmakers.

Judge Eugene Fahey writes that lawmakers gave responsibility to the parks department authority to provide for public health and welfare within the park system.

The parks office oversees 179 parks and 35 historic and other sites. It says smoking restrictions apply to less than 5 percent of 330,000 acres.

A trial judge found the regulations invalid. A mid-level court disagreed. The decision was released Thursday.