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Smithtown joins public smoking ban ranks

A man smoking outside. (April 5, 2011)

A man smoking outside. (April 5, 2011) Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Don’t smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em.

Not at Smithtown town parks, playgrounds and beaches: Smoking has been banned there, and within 50 feet of town buildings.

The town board voted unanimously Tuesday to enact the ban, taking effect immediately.

Smithtown joined New York City and at least seven other Long Island towns and villages that restrict or prohibit smoking, which also is banned at Suffolk County parks and beaches and on Long Island Rail Road platforms.

Smithtown officials have said they were concerned that secondhand smoke would harm the health of nonsmokers, especially children. At a public hearing last month, no one spoke for or against the ban.

Violators will be ordered to appear in Fourth District Court in Hauppauge, where they could face possible fines.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that secondhand smoke causes up to 62,000 U.S. deaths per year among nonsmokers, including 3,000 deaths from lung cancer, and that exposure causes respiratory infections in 300,000 children per year.

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