NEW JERSEY - Today marks a historical day for New Jersey. Both the NJ Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill to make all public parks and beaches 100% smokefree and vape-free, meaning no e-cigarette usage. The bill (S2534/A2041) heads to Governor Murphy for his consideration. Once signed into law, the bill will take effect in 180 days.
“NJ will be the first State in the USA to make all local, county and state public parks and beaches 100% smokefree and vape-free, meaning no use of electronic smoking devices as well. Once again, NJ is a leader when it comes to protecting people from secondhand smoke, and creating healthy outdoor environments for children,“ states Karen Blumenfeld, Esq., Executive Director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, a non-profit that encourages tobacco-free living and smokefree and vape-free environments.
“We are glad that the State is on top of what’s trending in tobacco and nicotine usage, and included e-cigarettes in their bill.” Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggested that smokefree policies include bans on using e-cigarettes, in light of the health and safety concerns with the devices, and to help de-normalize e-cigarette use since there’s a tripled increase in youth using e-cigarettes in the USA.
Smoking is still the #1 cause of preventable death and disease, which is why GASP has worked on smokefree parks and beaches for more than 15 years, and educated hundreds of NJ towns on the benefits of making parks and beaches smokefree. “More than one-half of NJ towns and counties already restrict smoking/vaping in their parks and/or beaches, and we thank the early-adopters for trail-blazing, and State leaders for expanding it to all parks and beaches.“
According to GASP’s database,100% smokefree beaches and boardwalks are already required at Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Seagirt, Seaside Park, Spring Lake, and 7 Presidents Oceanfront Park. Asbury Park, Beach Haven, Cape May Point, Little Egg Harbor Township, Long Beach Township, Long Branch, Lower Township’s Sunset Beach, Ocean Grove, Somers Point, Jenkinson’s Point Pleasant Beach and Upper Township require 100% smokefree beaches. Ocean City, Wildwood and North Wildwood ban smoking on their boardwalks. Many other NJ towns and counties also restrict smoking and vaping in their parks and on the beaches.
About GASP: GASP is a 40+ year-old non-profit that tracks laws and policies on tobacco-free living and smokefree environments, and serves as an educational resource provider on emerging trends in tobacco control and policy. Learn more at www.njgasp.org