Smoking Ban Expansion Put on Hold

By Michelle Costanza

September 20, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Lawmakers look to expand on a smoking ban in their parks.

A law from last July banned the activity from all playgrounds at parks and sports fields owned by the county, but a new law would restrict even more areas.

A motion was made to amend the law by prohibiting smoking in all of Otsiningo Park, including parking lots.

This idea was offered as an easy solution to help keep the air safer for children and avoid any confusion that the sectional ban would cause.

Simple as it was, many legislative members were hesitant to approve the idea.

"We certainly don't want people to be affected by second-hand smoke, but we also want to allow smokers to use the park and we don't want to create a safety hazard for them by forcing them out of the park," said District Six County Legislator Julie Lewis.

Lewis noted that when BCC employed a full smoking ban on it's campus, it resulted in negative consequences for the outside community. To avoid the on-campus restriction, students began smoking in nearby neighborhoods.

Many of the legislative members are worried that a full ban in parks would only create similar problems.

The proposed ban was put on hold to allow further discussion before making a permanent decision.