A bill that would ban smoking on beaches and in parks throughout the state of New Jersey cleared an important hurdle on Monday afternoon, passing the state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee by an 8-0 vote with one abstention.
It now appears headed to the Senate floor for a full vote. Clean air for beach goers, less litter and better conditions for beach going animals were some of the main points argued in favor of its passage.
Assuming it passes the Senate, would still need to go to Gov. Chris Christie for his signature, at which point it would become law just as the New Jersey beaches and the businesses that support and benefit from tourism get ready for their busiest time of year.
Fine for violators are in line with those already in place as part of the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act, which governs indoor smoking: first offenses carry a $250 fine, with it escalating to $500 for the second fine and $1,000 for each fine thereafter.