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Park Smoking Ban Bill Passes both Houses


Date : Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:19:30 -0400




For Immediate Release

June 26, 2014

Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Smoking Ban Bill Passes Both Houses

Today the Assembly passed A1080 (Huttle) 63-8 by which would prohibit smoking at parks and beaches. This bill passed with amendments 15% set-aside for smoking on municipal and county beaches. We believe this amendment is better than the original protecting our state parks from smoking. This legislation is important since cigarettes are on the top of the list when it comes to litter on our streets, beaches, and waterways. This legislation has passed both houses and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

“This bill is an important win for our lungs by prohibiting smoking in public parks. This legislation will not only help us all breathe easier and protect our health, but it will also help to protect parks from damages and fires from careless smokers. This will go a long way to prevent litter in our parks and state beaches. We believe banning smoking in state, local, and county parks as well as state beaches is an important step forward for the environment and our health,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We are concerned that even though they banned smoking at parks and state beaches the bill still allows a 15% set aside for smoking at local and municipal beaches. This 15% is a loophole you can throw an ashtray through.”

Cigarettes are not only a health problem, but an environmental problem. These cigarettes can be ingested by animals and marine life or even children playing in the sand. When you set aside a smoking area on the beach it affects the people next to it and affects other people. It also could be dangerous with some people failing to completely put out their cigarette butts leading to people stepping on it or even boardwalk fires. It is not only an environmental issue, but a health issue as well with people enjoying a day on the beach having to deal with second hand smoke. Towns have already put in place laws and ordinances dealing with smoking including Seaside Park which smoking is banned on all beaches and boardwalks. Long Branch and Sunset Beach in Cape May County are also smoke free. Smoking is banned on the boardwalk in Belmar, and on sections of its beaches. A stateside ban will benefit our environment, tourism, and public health. What happened if the wind shifts.

“We are glad that smoking is banned in parks and these amendments are better than the last version. We still need to work to have smoke free beaches. Having smoke free beaches will encourage tourism, while protecting both health and the environment. Cigarettes are a major source of litter and pollution, while also being a threat to public safety. A complete ban will not only benefit public health, but our environment. We are spending all this money rebuilding our beaches and now we should not turn them into ashtrays,” said Jeff Tittel. “We hope that the Governor signs this bill supporting to protect our environment and public health over the tobacco lobby. We hope that he realizes that he should not hold our parks and public health hostage to his national political ambitions.”


--
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
609-656-7612
https://www.facebook.com/NJSierraClub
https://twitter.com/nicdalla3



Received on 2014-06-26 19:19:30

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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