There is a bill working its way through the New Jersey state legislature that would ban smoking in all public parks and beaches in the state.
Assembly bill 1080 was introduced earlier this year, and passed both houses of the state legislature in June. The reasons for the proposed ban include: “...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, while lessening exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke among the public…”
It’s still awaiting signature by Gov. Chris Christie – and there’s some debate going around about whether to designate a small portion of a beach as a smoking section. Read more about the debate here:
Additionally, the Star-Ledger reported in February that there were, at the time, 220 municipalities and 14 public beaches that had smoking bans, citing data from the Center for Prevention and Counseling.
You can read the bill in its entirety here.
My two cents: I really like the idea of a smoking ban. For one thing, there’s the risk of cigarette butts causing a fire, or getting eaten by birds and fish. On top of that, seeing cigarettes stubbed out on the beach or the trail is kinda gross.
What do you think, everyone? Feel free to sound off in the comments – but please, keep it civil.