Updated 05/31/2012 12:37 PM
Crossgates Mall now tobacco-free
Need a smoke break from shopping or while you're working? Well, if you're at Crossgates Mall, think again. As of Thursday, malls owned by Pyramid Management Group LLC are tobacco-free. Megan Cruz has the details.
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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- "I love smoke-free places."
Well, then we might bump into Dorothy Miller here more often. As of Thursday, Crossgates Mall is tobacco-free.
"There's no tobacco use of any kind. No smoking, no chewing tobacco, no electronic cigarettes on the property," said Joe Castaldo, Crossgates General Manager.
Crossgates management says the ban has been a long time coming. They say it's all about the health of their customers and employees.
"We have about 20 million people a year coming to Crossgates, and there is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke - none. It's well -documented, it's proven, you have empirical data. And with that many people coming through the door, we want to be a leader in the industry and make our properties as safe and as enjoyable as we can," Castaldo said.
This new tobacco-free policy doesn't just pertain to the inside of the mall. It also applies to the outside - at all the entrances, sidewalks, even parking lots.
Rhonda Brown of Guilderland said, "I think it's a good idea. A lot of kids come to the mall and when you have to walk through them to get into the mall, it's really not good. Then they smell it, it gets on their clothes and their hair."
But more than just the smoke, people say they don't want to set a bad example for kids. This, coming from a smoker.
Martin Miller of Athens said, "I think if you're 18 or older, you have your privilege to smoke and whatnot, but I think it's smart. I don't want to see little kids see everybody smoke and then they want to go and smoke. Just gotta smoke on my way here."
But not every smoker we spoke with was willing to relocate.
Zsolt Ngy of Guilderland said, "I work in the mall, eight to ten hours. So tell me somebody who smokes that doesn't need to smoke for eight hours. If you show me somebody, I'll try to do it ."
Castaldo did say there's no penalty for disobeying this ban. Tobacco users will just be asked kindly to stop.
New York malls covered by new policy:
Aviation Mall - Queensbury
Carousel Center – Syracuse (became smoke-free in 2007, will be tobacco-free)
Champlain Centre - Plattsburgh
Crossgates Mall - Guilderland
Galleria at Crystal Run - Middletown
Palisades Center – West Nyack
Poughkeepsie Galleria - Poughkeepsie
Salmon Run Mall - Watertown
Sangertown Square – New Hartford
The Shops at Ithaca Mall - Ithaca
Walden Galleria - Buffalo
Massachusetts malls covered by new policy:
Berkshire Mall - Lanesborough
Independence Mall - Kingston
Hampshire Mall - Hadley
Holyoke Mall at Ingleside - Holyoke