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Judge snuffs N.Y. park smoking ban

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state parks officials must stop enforcing their ban on outdoor smoking, a state judge ordered, agreeing with a smokers’ rights group that the state exceeded its authority.

The rules adopted in February establishing no-smoking areas at various parks, including popular beaches and all nine state parks within New York City, aren’t supported by any policy set by the Legislature, state Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia said.

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The city has a separate outdoor smoking ban for its parks and beaches that wasn’t challenged in this lawsuit.

The judge noted that while lawmakers enacted restrictions on indoor smoking, the Assembly and Senate have attempted but failed to target smoking in outdoor parks.

‘‘In the court’s view, this is a strong indication that the Legislature is uncertain of how to address the issue,’’ he wrote.

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