The NY Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which became law on March 31, 2021, included an expansion of NY’s Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) to prohibit smoking or vaping cannabis in all locations in which smoking and vaping tobacco products is currently prohibited by NYS Public Health Law Article 13-E. Those locations include all playgrounds between sunrise and sunset when one or more children under age 12 are present.

The CIAA does not prohibit smoking/vaping of tobacco and cannabis in other local municipal recreation areas, including parks and beaches, or on any other municipal property. However, local municipalities have used their authority to enact such local policies. At least two municipalities in the Capital District have already adopted smoke- and vape-free policies that include cannabis and have posted signage like the example to the left. Signs are available at no cost to municipalities that adopt a tobacco- and vape-free policy whether or not they include a prohibition on smoking and vaping cannabis.

Many of the reasons for prohibiting smoking and vaping of tobacco in shared public spaces are the same for prohibiting smoking and vaping of cannabis. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains hazardous fine particulates and hundreds of chemicals similar to secondhand tobacco smoke. And while the chemical makeup of aerosol emissions from vaping cannabis is less well-known, aerosol emissions from vaping liquid nicotine have been shown to include hazardous fine particulate matter and dangerous chemicals.

Marijuana legalization can coexist with the public health goal of protecting people from the harmful effects of exposure to secondhand smoke and vape emissions. Contact us for more information, assistance and FREE signs.