Amendment to Public Health Law 13-E Prohibiting Smoking Within 100 feet of School Boundaries

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On September 5, 2012, Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 449 of the Laws of 2012, amending Article 13-E of the Public Health Law, also known as New York State’s Clean Air Act (“Act”). The amendment became effective immediately upon signature.

As you know, tobacco use on school grounds has been prohibited for a number of years pursuant to section 409 of the Education Law. The amendment prohibits smoking within 100 feet of the entrances, exits or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary school, but does not apply to residential properties otherwise situated within the 100 foot boundary. Thus, the amendment applies to property owned by any non-residential property owners (such as municipalities, businesses, churches, etc.) that is immediately adjacent to school property, including but not limited to sidewalks.

Note that NYSDOH’s memorandum indicates that “non-residential property owners adjacent to schools are responsible for making a reasonable effort to enforce applicable smoking restrictions on any portion of their property that is within 100 feet of a school’s legally defined property boundary” [emphasis added]. However, routine inspection of covered, adjacent properties by local public health agencies is not required under the amended law. It would be in each District’s best interest to contact any municipality or other non-residential property owner in control of covered property to review compliance with Chapter 449’s new requirements.

Below please find links to the text of Chapter 449, along with an interoffice memorandum issued by the NYS Department of Health regarding its enforcement of same.



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