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This is the next place you might not be able to smoke in NJ

No smoking sign
Hemera Technologies/ThinkStock

It’s been over 11 years since New Jersey banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Then came beaches and parks. What’s next? Now, Wildwood is poised to ban smoking on its boardwalk. If enacted it would go into effect not this year but next. This year would be an “awareness” campaign where people would be strongly urged to put out their cigarettes even though the law wouldn’t yet be in effect.

This won’t be the first town to ban smoking on a boardwalk. Ocean City banned smoking in 2014. If and when this becomes law in Wildwood, smokers will be warned through a public address system that it is no longer allowed. Those who violate it in Wildwood could be fined up to $1,000 or spend 90 days in jail.

Officials are making the argument of the dangers of second-hand smoke, which many will dismiss since it’s outdoors. The crazy truth is there have been studies that found the opposite of what they set out to prove, that even outdoor second hand smoke can be harmful. They are also arguing the fire hazard of carelessly tossed butts.

Jersey Shore boardwalks to go smoke-free — smoking advocates fire back

Is this going too far? If we’re going to ban smoking on a boardwalk in the name of families, don’t families also walk down residential streets? Will smoking eventually be banned everywhere except for the privacy of your own home or inside your own vehicle? (Probably only if the windows are rolled up, mind you.)

I am on board with smoking bans on beaches, because this is a place where you are going to be a while. When a smoker sets up camp near you and your kids, you have to make the choice between moving all your stuff to a new spot or dealing with someone else’s lousy cigarette smoke wafting all over your children for four hours. But a boardwalk? Can’t you just keep walking if it’s that bad?

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