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Court upholds outdoor smoking ban at state parks

Posted: 11:39 AM, Mar 31, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-31 15:39:10Z

New York's highest court has upheld smoking restrictions in state parks, including an outright ban at seven smaller parks in New York City.

The Court of Appeals unanimously rejected arguments from a smokers' rights group that parks officials exceeded their authority and smoking limits should be left to the Legislature.

Judge Eugene Fahey writes that lawmakers delegated to the parks department authority to provide for the health and welfare of the public within the park system.

He says officials "acted within the confines of that delegated power" issuing regulations. They oversee 179 parks and 35 historic and other sites.

The parks office says smoking restrictions apply to less than 5 percent of 330,000 acres

A trial judge found the regulations invalid. A mid-level court disagreed. The decision was released Thursday.