Posted at: 07/03/2012 5:41 PM
| Updated at: 07/03/2012 6:04 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Hundreds of people lounge and play at the Victoria Pool in the Spa State Park.
Outside the entrance, a last chance for smokers. A butt stop to drop their cigarettes.
As visitors approach the pool, they're greeted by signs, telling them no smoking here.
At entrances to the park, and near playgrounds, more signs. All telling people that smoking is prohibited.
But a smokers' rights group accuses state parks of monkeying around, by posting signs for a policy that hasn't been legally adopted.
CLASH, that's Citizens Lobbying Against Smoking Harassment, has filed a lawsuit seeking to order state parks to take down the signs.
Their founder, Audrey Silk, saying, "Feel free to assert your independence from tyranny and smoke 'em if ya got 'em because the signs are a lie."
But state parks says they plan to keep them up as they move forward with what they're calling a common-sense policy to limit smoking in state parks.
A local anti-smoking group says the signs should stay up as the state works out its smoke-free policy.
"Because it's a reminder and helping educate people. Reminding them maybe you shouldn't be smoking on a playground next to a young child," said Matthew Andrus of the Southern Adirondack Tobacco-Free Coalition.
But park-goer Sal Munafo, a non-smoker from Niskayuna, says a state parks smoking ban goes too far.
"Personal responsibility is what America was founded upon. I think it's tyrannical. I think it's overreaching."