TRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by several Democratic members of the state Assembly would ban smoking at public parks and beaches.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee and goes before the full Assembly for a vote on June 7.

Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Clinton Calabrese, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Carol Murphy, Angelica Jimenez, Paul Moriarty, Joann Downey, Wayne DeAngelo, Herb Conaway, Jr. M.D., John McKeon, Eric Houghtaling, John Armato and Lisa Swain to prohibit smoking at public parks and beaches was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

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The bill (would expand the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which currently forbids smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, to apply to public parks and beaches throughout the state as well. The smoking ban would apply to any state park or forest, county or municipal park, or state, county, or municipal beach.

Under the bill, exemptions would be made for any parking lot that is adjacent to, but outside of, the public park or beach; any golf course; or any area of a municipal or county beach, not exceeding 15 percent of the total area, that is designated as a smoking area.