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Smoking on the Massena Town Hall steps not illegal, yet

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MASSENA — While smoking on the steps of town hall could be viewed as disrespectful, it is not, at least at this time, against the law.

“There’s always a great deal of confusion when it comes to the Clean Indoor Air Act,” said Benjamin R. Todd, St. Lawrence County Tobacco Free Coalition program director. “I’m not aware of any language in the law that says there is a set distance required from the entrance of a building.”

Mr. Todd said that is typically left up to municipalities to determine with their own ordinances.

Massena Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said Massena has no such law on the books, but that may change as town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray has recently voiced his displeasure with people smoking on the front town hall steps, which also happen to be outside his office window.

He suggests the town implement a ban that would prohibit smoking within 25 feet of the building.

Town Councilman Charles A. “Chuck” Raiti said one possibility is following in the county’s footsteps and turning their town hall into a smoke-free campus.

Mr. Gray, however, said he views that as an extreme move.

“I don’t want to go crazy,” he said. “I just want them off the steps.”

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