As of January 16, 2019, visitors to New Jersey’s many public parks—including beaches—will no longer be permitted to smoke. The new smoking ban covers cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vape pens and e-cigs, as well as smokeless tobacco products.
The ban does not criminalize smoking–violators will be charged with a municipal offense. A conviction means facing a $250 fine. The fine increases to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for subsequent offenses.
The law was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last summer but only took effect this year. State lawmakers had shown interest in the ban for years, but former Gov. Chris Christie refused to sign it. The law is an update to New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act of 2006. The original act barred smoking in bars, restaurants and other places of business. The act now includes beaches, boardwalks, public parks, and historic sites. It also applies to any state-owned or leased lands and waterways managed by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Most New Jerseyans will not be negatively impacted by the ban; despite a 77% increase in use of electronic smoking devices, only 14% of adults and 17% of teens are regular smokers, state data shows. Those who violate the ban can be fined by state or local police, as well as by site operators. On the plus-side for smokers: Sites will be permitted to designate up to 15% of the area specifically for smoking. In addition, smoking will still be permitted in parking lots.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, consult with an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled criminal defense attorneys with experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-815-3649 today for a free consultation about your case.