Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Ban Smoking in Public Parks & Beaches Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty to prohibit smoking at public parks and beaches was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-3798) would expand the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which currently forbids smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, to apply to public parks and beaches throughout the state as well. The smoking ban would apply to any state park or forest, county or municipal park, or state, county, or municipal beach. The ban would not apply to any parking lot that is adjacent to, but outside of, the public park or beach; any golf course; or any area of a municipal or county beach, not exceeding 15 percent of the total area, which is designated as a smoking area.

Banning smoking in our beaches and parks would help lessen the exposure to second hand smoke, reduce the risk of fires, and reduce litter. Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item in the world. Discarded cigarette butts can be ingested by children and wildlife. This ban would help lessen the health and environment impacts of smoking.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.

It goes before the full Assembly on June 7.