Monday, December 22, 2014

Bill Would Ban Lighting Up at Public Parks and Beaches

It could be tougher to grab a smoke in New Jersey, especially if you are outside in a public place. Smoking is already forbidden in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. Now, it may be banned at public parks and beaches in New Jersey.

Bill Would Ban Lighting Up at Public Parks and Beaches

It could be tougher to grab a smoke in New Jersey, especially if you are outside in a public place. Smoking is already forbidden in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. Now, it may be banned at public parks and beaches in New Jersey.

With bipartisan support, the Assembly yesterday easily approved a bill (A-1080) prohibiting smoking at the state's parks and beaches, a measure proponents said would protect public health, reduce litter, and curb the threat of potentially devastating forest fires.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the state and the nation, and tobacco smokes constitutes a substantial health hazard to the nonsmoking majority of the public,’’ said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), the sponsor of the bill.

“The prohibition of smoking at public parks and beaches would better preserve the natural assets of this state by reducing litter and increasing fire safety in those areas,’’ she said.

The bill, approved by a 64-7 vote, with four legislators abstaining, 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 park or beach. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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