Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he has vetoed A1080, the beach smoking ban that the New Jersey Assembly passed in late June.

In his letter to the General Assembly, Christie said that “while I appreciate the sponsors’ concerns regarding the health risks posed by smoking and second-hand smoke, I am not persuaded that a presecriptive, one-size-fits-all State ban on smoking at public parks and beaches is advisable at this time.” He went on to cite how local officials have already enacted their own bans, and as such “I do not believe that the State should substitute its judgment for that of our local elected officials or upset the careful balancing of interests that informs the decision-making process at the local level.”

It took a bit of compromise to get the final version of the bill through the state senate, with the state senate version including a provision that allowed local officials to designate up to 15% of a beach as a smoking area.

Had the governor signed the bill, not only would smoking been prohibited at beaches throughout the state, but violators would have been subject to fairly significant fines, starting at $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for each offense thereafter.


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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.