Atlantic County community is latest to ban smoking on the beach

     AP photo.

    AP photo.

    Longport is the latest Jersey Shore municipality to prohibit smoking on its beaches.

    The first to enact a smoking ban in Atlantic County, the community joins numerous Shore municaplities with similar prohibitions, including Belmar, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Harvey Cedars, Long Branch, and Lavallette.

    The ordinance adopted this week also bans all types of smoking at public facilities, including buildings and parks. 

    Violators will face up to a $250 fine for the first offense and $500 for the next offense, according to the legislation. All subsequent violations prescribe up to a $1,000 fine. 

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    Longport has a history of enacting enviromentally friendly ordinances. In 2015, it became the first municipality in New Jersey to require a fee for single-use plastic and paper bags. And recently, the borough banned the release of balloons. 

    Last summer, Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed legislation that would require towns to ban cigarette, cigar, pipe, and electronic device smoking in any state park or forest, county or municipal park, or state or municipal beach.

    The governor said he abhors smoking, but that it should be left to towns to decide whether to ban it. 

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