One of the nation's major developers and owners of mega-size malls is set to make its sites in New York and Massachusetts totally smoke-free on May 31.
Nearby, shoppers and retail workers walking to and from their cars in the parking lot in West Nyack in Rockland County will no longer be able to smoke.
The Pyramid Management Group, LLC — which owns the Palisades Center, along with several other malls throughout New York and Massachusettes — announced today that all of its properties will be smoke-free.
"We strongly believe this new policy will not only support our employees and guests who are sensitive to secondhand smoke or are trying to quit smoking, but it also will provide a more enjoyable and healthier shopping experience to the millions of visitors who come through our doors each year," said James L. Soos, director of asset management with the Pyramid Management Group.
Officials said the coming 100-percent tobacco-free policy includes cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electric cigarettes and pipes. All areas on the property will be affected, including sidewalks, parking lots and construction areas.
"It applies to all mall associates, tenant employees, vendors, delivery people, contractors, subcontractors and guests," officials added.
The Palisades Center has been working alongside anti-smoking groups like POW'R Against Tobacco to implement the new ruling.
"POW’R Against Tobacco is proud to partner with the Palisades Center for its decision to make their property tobacco free," said Maureen Kenney, the White Plains-based group's director. "The Surgeon General has stated that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke. It's refreshing to see a mall heed this warning and do their part to protect the health of their patrons."
Pyramid officials noted no-smoking signage will be posted around the property, and mall employees will have opportunities to receive counseling to quit smoking.
Palisades Center is located at Exit 12 of the New York State Thruway in West Nyack. It is also accessible from Westchester via the Tappan Zee Express bus service from the White Plains and Tarrytown train stations.