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Bill To Ban Smoking On N.J. Beaches Clears Assembly

Law would ban beach smoking even if municipalities didn't enact their own bans; violators would be fined

The beach in Surf City, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The beach in Surf City, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
A bill that would ban smoking on all of New Jersey's beaches was passed by the General Assembly on Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Angelica Jimenez (D-Hudson, Bergen) would ban smoking in public parks and beaches in New Jersey regardless of whether or not a municipality or county had passed a similar ban.

Many Jersey Shore municipalities such as Belmar and Seaside Park ban smoking, but others, such as Surf City on Long Beach Island have refused to enact bans after public debates on the matter.

"It's clearly in the public interest to expand the law prohibiting smoking in all enclosed indoor places of public access and workplaces to all public parks and beaches," said Jimenez. "This is common sense approach to maintain the beauty and pristine quality of our parks and beaches while also protecting public health. We're all be better off if we get this done."

The smoking prohibition provided for under the bill would apply to any state park or forest, county or municipal park, or state or municipal beach, but would not include parking lots.

The state Department of Environmental Protection would be directed to provide information and assistance to counties and municipalities to support smoke-free environments, and rules and regulations would be adopted by state agencies.

Violators would face fines of $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense under the state's Smoke Free Air Act.
Resident of Lacey March 22, 2014 at 07:59 PM
Failure, No cars serve a useful purpose tobacco products do not have any productive usage. It is the smoking ahole in the car that is the problem not the smoking of the car it's self, however I would prefer to see everyone driving a hydrogen or electric powered automobile. Shif, you are correct without the taxes from the sale of smokes our Government will have less money to squander and yes another reason to ban smoking.
FIMF the ll March 22, 2014 at 08:27 PM
That may be good for ue @Res, but I don't want it and there is no reason ANYONE should have the right to pollute my body with their smoke
KC March 23, 2014 at 01:42 AM
We seem to mostly all be on the same page with this. Smokers are disgusting; no one wants to tolerate their pollution any longer. Stay out of our fresh air. Get the heck away from store entrances too! Talking to you Shoprite, StopnShop and Walmart employees.
suz March 23, 2014 at 08:08 AM
KC come on...smokers are disgusting? Thats a little bit too harsh for me. Before you make your comments, maybe you should do some research and find out how may people actually died from entering a store with smokers out front. Failed...you are most likely breathing in more pollution and eating more chemicals then passing by someone who smokes. Yes, I so agree that some smokers are just plain ole selfish, but not all, and hey, they have rights as well.
FIMF the ll March 23, 2014 at 08:11 AM
Kiss me-I'm Amish.

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