In Brief

Legislator looks to expand New Jersey’s outdoor smoking ban

By: - October 26, 2022 6:53 am

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy's bill would bar smoking on boardwalks, at race tracks and amusement parks, and in many other spaces. (Dana DiFilippo | New Jersey Monitor)

New Jersey already bans smoking in parks and on beaches, but it could soon extend that prohibition to a slew of other public spaces.

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) this week reintroduced a measure that would expand the smoking ban imposed by the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act to other outdoor public places, including boardwalks, race tracks, amusement parks, historic sites, and burial sites.

Smoking would also be barred on other state-owned or leased land but allowed in adjacent parking lots if they are not part of the same premises.

In 2018, legislators and the governor approved changes to the 2006 law that imposed severe limits on indoor smoking, expanding its protections to public beaches and parks in a bid to preserve the state’s shore tourism economy.

The law allowed a municipality to designate up to 15% of its beach as a smoking zone.

Murphy’s bill and a Senate companion sponsored by Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) were first introduced just two months after the beach smoking ban was signed into law, though they did not advance in the 2018-2019 or 2020-2021 legislative sessions.

There’s at least some bipartisan support for an extended ban. Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Bergen) joined Murphy’s bill as a second prime sponsor in the previous sessions.

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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.

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