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Letter to the Editor

Submitted by: Center for a Tobacco-Free Finger Lakes

Photo by Steven Pahel on

Dear Editor,

As a physician, I commend Governor kathy Hochul and the State Legislature for efforts regarding legislation

prohibiting smoking in public parks and beaches in New York State. This will reduce everyone’s exposure to second-hand smoke which contributes to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Cigarette butts are toxic and non-biodegradable, making up over one-third (38%) of all litter. Cities and towns pay an enormous amount to clean this up annually. These butts leach poisons, including arsenic, into the land and water, killing wildlife and increasing harm to children.

With summer in full swing, it is excellent timing for this legislation, and now everyone enjoying recreation in New York State can breathe more easily.

If you’re considering quitting smoking or vaping, contact your doctor and the NYS Smokers’ Quitline at

866-697-8487 or

Naz Baecher, MD
Preventive Medicine Resident
URMC Department of Public Health Sciences

University of Rochester Medical Center
Department of Public Health Sciences
265 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, New York 14642Contact: