Renewed talk of banning smoking on all NJ beaches

David Madden
May 11, 2018 - 11:42 am
Cigarette butts in the sand
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TRENTON, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- New Jersey is, once again, looking into a statewide ban on smoking on all beaches. But proponents believe that this time they can get it passed into law.

Governors in the past have either blocked it or vetoed it. Chris Christie approved a ban on two beaches owned by the state. Eighteen municipalities have local beach smoking prohibitions. But it's thought with Phil Murphy, the idea's got a real chance.

"I think it's going to help us with tourism even further because, when people know that they're not dealing with smokers on the beach, it's going to be a much more pleasant experience," State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said.

This plan, which cleared a Senate committee in Trenton, will fine violators up to $1,000, reflecting the decade-old law that bans smoking in public buildings.

But Sweeney insists those who light up are not totally locked out.

"You'll still be able to smoke in parking lots," he added, "and towns can if they choose designate up to 15 percent of their beach to be like a smoking area," Sweeney said.

The measure, if approved, takes effect six months after it's enacted. So there would be no change on beaches this summer.