New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation prohibiting smoking at public beaches and parks in New Jersey.
“The Jersey Shore has always been one of our state’s and nation’s great natural treasures, and a place for families to enjoy,” Murphy said. “Signing this legislation demonstrates my firm commitment to protecting our environment and public health while preserving the quality and cleanliness of our public beaches and park areas.”
The bill signed by Murphy updates the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act of 2006. The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection, municipalities and counties to take measures to educate the public about the smoking ban and penalties. Fines will be $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The ban goes into effect in 180 days.
A 2017 beach sweep along the Atlantic coast by the group Clean Ocean Action showed that the litter collected by volunteers last year included more than 29,000 cigarette butts, more than 1,150 lighters, nearly 1,900 empty cigarette packs and 7,172 cigar tips.