Denise Hogan has noticed that Veterans' Park in downtown Nyack often acts as a place for smokers to congregate and light up.
It's not a development she endorses—and one she hopes to change with legislation.
"It's a health issue and a role model issue," Hogan told Nyack officials late last week. Hogan went before local lawmakers , a state-funded coalition that aims to "decrease the social acceptability of tobacco use."
"In Rockland, most of the parks, pools and playgrounds are smoke free," Hogan continued. Nyack's Memorial Park has been cigarette-free for years, and the new baseball stadium in Ramapo axed smoking, as well.
Hogan likened walking around with a lit cigarette to strolling about with an open container of alcohol—an offense that can result in a court summons.
Her idea has the support of Richard Kavesh, Nyack's mayor, who said he would take it a step further and .
"I do think smokers have rights, but non-smokers also have rights," Kavesh said. "The right to fresh air outweighs the right... to smoke."
(In a Patch poll located below, 50 percent of readers said they would support a downtown-wide smoking moratorium as of Dec. 9. Read what business owners had to say .)
The next step in the process is running the idea past the village's parks commission. Jim Wilcox, a parks commissioner, said the department has yet to discuss the issue but will during coming meetings.
Wilcox also wondered what effect the ban may have. "Will we have more people hanging out smoking on Main Street?" he asked.