The Palisades Center is , a ruling that will prevent shoppers and mall employees from lighting up outside the mall's many entrances or in the sprawling parking lots.
Retail workers plying long shifts will have to overcome their nicotine urges, although Palisades officials said the mall will provide employees with counseling and information to help kick the habit.
Taking a smoke break in one's car remains an option, though.
"We're not going to go in people's cars," said LeeAnn Dell'Accio, the mall's director of marketing.
Dell'Accio noted the Pyramid Group, which manages the mall, will begin placing signage around the property before the no-smoking ruling goes into effect on May 31. Mall security and management will be tasked with enforcing the policy, but—at least in the beginning—tickets will not be issued.
"At this point there are no punitive damages set in place—we’re going to educate people," Dell'Accio said.
Currently, two locations in the mall sell cigarettes. Going forward, Dell'Accio said new stores will not be allowed to sell tobacco-related products.
A number of local and regional anti-smoking groups worked alongside the Pyramid Group to reach the no-smoking decision.
"This policy means shoppers and their kids won’t have to walk a gauntlet of harmful secondhand smoke just to enter a mall," said Alvaro Carrascal, Senior Vice President of Cancer Control, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. "Secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Mall employees who smoke also will benefit from on-site resources that will help them quit."
Mall employees, however, are less adamant. Mel A., a mall worker who did not want to release his full last name, spent a few minutes Tuesday afternoon leaning against a concrete wall outside and dragging on a cigarette before returning to his shift.
"I'm here everyday," he said. "If they designate a spot for smoking, that's fine. But to ban smoking entirely—that's another thing."