The bill was introduced by Rep Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Rep Jimenez, Angelica M. and Rep Wayne P. DeAngelo.
The bill, A1080, states “The Legislature finds and declares that: tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the State and the nation, and tobacco smoke constitutes a substantial health hazard to the nonsmoking majority of the public; the separation of smoking and nonsmoking areas in indoor public places and workplaces does not eliminate the hazard to nonsmokers if these areas share a common ventilation system; 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; and, therefore, subject to certain specified exceptions, it is clearly in the public interest to prohibit smoking in all enclosed indoor places of public access and workplaces and at all public parks and beaches.”
This bill extends the provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act,” P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-55 et seq.), which generally prohibit smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, to apply to public parks and beaches throughout the State.
The smoking prohibition 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.
The penalties that currently apply to a person who smokes in an indoor public place or workplace, or a person having control of the place who fails to comply with an order to enforce the smoking prohibition, in violation of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act,” would apply to a comparable violation of this bill. These include a fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. [TLS]