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Smoking Ban Gets Revision [AUDIO]

The proposed smoking ban at New Jersey’s public beaches, forests and parks was tweaked during this week’s hearing on the bill in the state Senate.

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smoking ban on beaches
Matt King, Getty Images

Under the revised measure, municipalities would have the option of designating up to 20 percent of their parks and beaches as smoking areas.

The amendment was not welcomed by New Jersey Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, which was on hand for Monday’s debate.

“Enforcement’s very difficult,” said Karen Blumenfeld, NJ GASP executive director. “People don’t know where they can or can’t smoke, but more importantly, it does not denormalize smoking.”

The measure must now go back to the Assembly, which had already approved an outright ban.

State Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Ewing), sponsor of the original measure, said it promotes both health and public safety.

“Also, we need to clean up our beaches,” Turner said. “When people smoke and discard those butts, those cigarettes or matches on the beach, it takes away from the environment and also the cleanliness of the beach.”

Turner also expressed opposition to the amendment, but two other senators are signed on as sponsors.

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