New Jersey may ban smoking on all its beaches

 (AP File Photo/Wayne Parry)

(AP File Photo/Wayne Parry)

The New Jersey Assembly has approved a bill that would ban smoking at all public beaches and parks in New Jersey. 

The smoking prohibition provided for under this bill would apply to any State park or forest, county or municipal park, or State or municipal beach, but would not include any parking lot that is adjacent to but outside the public park or beach.

          Read full text: New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act (A1080)

Thursday’s vote now sends the measure to the state Senate, where a vote has not yet been scheduled. If approved, the smoking ban would take effect 180 days after it’s signed into law. 

The bill is designed to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke at beaches and parks, cut down on litter and improve fire safety in those public areas. Smoking would still be allowed in parking lots near beaches and parks.

Violators could get a $250 fine for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for subsequent violations.

The bill would require the state’s health and environmental protection departments to come up with rules to implement the ban.

A number of New Jersey towns have already enacted their own smoking bans.

beach towns already have smoking bans. The American Nonsmoker Rights Foundation lists the following towns that prohibit smoking in their parks and/or beach areas.

Burlington Township NJ
Harvey Cedars Borough NJ
Island Heights Borough NJ
Lavallette Borough NJ
Long Branch NJ
Mount Arlington Borough NJ
Point Pleasant Borough NJ
Rockaway Township NJ
Seaside Park NJ
Somers Point NJ
Spring Lake Borough NJ
Stafford Township NJ
Surf City Borough NJ
Wayne Township NJ

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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