According to the new act, effective July 24, 2003, the smoking of tobacco will not be permitted on the theatrical stage. Eileen Franko, Assistant Bureau Director for Community Environmental Health and Food Protection, told Playbill On-Line that there is an easy way to circumvent the new law.
Said Franko, "The law specifically says there's no smoking of tobacco, so if you have to have a cigarette as a prop, you would just use herbal cigarettes, something with no tobacco." She also explained that "New York City has a waiver for Broadway plays . . . However, that was before the state law kicked in, so we really supersede that now, so I would imagine that Broadway plays will also have to go to a non-tobacco product."
According to the law, smoking — defined as the "burning of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other matter or substance which contains tobacco" — is prohibited in the following indoor areas:
Places of employment
Enclosed indoor swimming areas
Public transportation, including all ticketing, boarding and waiting areas; buses, vans, taxicabs and limousines
All places of employment where services are offered to children
All schools, including school grounds
All public and private colleges, universities and other educational and vocational institutions
Residential health-care facilities, except separately designated smoking rooms for adult patients
Commercial establishments used for the purpose of carrying on or exercising any trade, profession, vocation or charitable activity
All indoor arenas
For more information, visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/clean_indoor_air_act/index.htm.