A bill that bans smoking on all beaches in New Jersey swept the legislature is on its way to the Governor who will gleefully sign it in another attempt to completely control everything. Ok, I get it. You hate smokers. Society hates smokers. Smokers are evil and horrible people. But the fact is they exist, cigarettes are legal, the air belongs to them too.

A similar bill made its way to former Governor Christie’s desk which he vetoed saying that it should be left up to each municipality. Another thing Christie had right and Murphy has wrong. As usual, covenant Murphy loves a good government hand around your throat. The silliest thing is that most people who support the ban do so for the wrong reason. Just about anytime you ask somebody why smoking should be illegal on New Jersey beaches, they have the same answer: it’s so disgusting to see butts all over the beach. But what does that have to do with smoking? Doesn’t that have to do with littering?

The fact that litter comes into the discussion is just proof of how misguided this law is. After all, everyone owns the air- not just the non-smokers. If you want to isolate smokers to a certain area the way some towns have done (even though I think it is still in infringement of smokers rights) then so be it. That way people who have ultra-sensitive upper respiratory systems and swear that they can smell smoke on the beach can just sit far away from the smoking area. But to deem smoking illegal on the entire swath of 121 miles of shoreline here in NJ smacks of government overreach, plain and simple.

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