If you’ve been to a state park, historic site, or pool, you may have noticed signs saying “Smoking Prohibited.” About that…
Smoking at any of the aforementioned locations actually isn’t prohibited, and the signs are just a symbol of a “rogue governance” that’s misleading the public — according to cig fans, anyway.
When the state attempted to implement a ban on smoking at public parks, the New York City-based group Citizens Lobbing Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) pointed out that the state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation hadn’t followed its own rule-making process when enacting the ban. The result: the ban was lifted — the state conceded that because of the SNAFU, the “ban” is now voluntary. The signs, however, remained.
“The intentional use of signage to fool park visitors into thinking that
an unofficial policy has the force of law as a coercive tactic to
induce compliance with a moral, rather than a legal, dictate cannot be
tolerated,” CLASH founder Audrey Silk says. “Government
is taking its war on smokers to the new contemptible level when it
determines the rule of law is expendable when it comes ‘to those
people.’ Rogue governance is a threat to all.”
The proposed ban isn’t dead, though, it seems it’s just delayed; the Parks
Department’s rules force it to issue a “regulatory impact statement” —
which the agency is in the process of doing — and then allow
a 45-day public comment period before implementing a ban.
CLASH, however, says the Department needs legislative approval before
it can implement such a ban, and vows to sue the state if the ban is
enacted without such approval.
“When already beleaguered adults who choose to smoke are enjoying their
outdoor activities this Independence Day holiday,” Silk continues, “we
want them to know that they can take to heart words from the day’s
founding document that ‘[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them
under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
off such Government…’ So feel free to assert your independence from
tyranny and smoke ’em if ya got ’em because the signs are a lie.”
The signs may be a lie, but keep in mind that if you’re inconsiderate enough to stink up nature and ruin the day for someone else, you’re still a prick.