N.J. Senate passes smoke-free beach bill

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit smoking at beaches and public parks in New Jersey.

Violators would face fines of at least $250 for the first offense.

Supporters are mad that the bill was amended to allow towns to set aside up to 20 percent of a beach or park as a smoking area.

The state Assembly in March passed a bill calling for the smoking ban.

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Some beach towns already have banned smoking on their sands, including Belmar, Seaside Park, Long Branch, and Sunset Beach in Cape May Point.

More than a third of New Jersey’s municipalities have laws on the books that restrict smoking in parks and recreational areas.

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