New Jersey’s Indoor Smoking Ban Will Go in Effect on Saturday
CHERRY HILL – At a news conference at Ponzio’s Diner, Senator John H. Adler touted the State’s new indoor smoking ban, which will go into effect on Saturday, April 15th, as a “life-saving measure that will vastly improve dining in the Garden State.”
“I strongly believe that restaurant owners are going to realize the smoking ban is the best thing to happen to dining in the Garden State,” said Senator Adler, the main sponsor of the smoking ban in the Senate. “Families will be able to enjoy their meals without suffering the health risks of breathing in second-hand smoke, and workers will miss fewer days due to smoke-related illnesses. Some restaurant owners have already embraced it, and we’re hoping to bring more people in as we see the successes of the smoking ban.”
Senator Adler commended Ponzio’s owner Chris Fifis for being among those who “put the health of diners and waitstaff before the concerns of doomsayers.”
“We were told that stamping out smoking in public places would lead to an economic hit of epic proportions,” said Senator Adler. “What the fire-and-brimstone economists left out was a smoking ban is working in New York City, it’s working in Delaware, and it can work in New Jersey. In fact, restaurants have shown gains under the New York smoking ban.”
Senator Adler also noted that recent data released after ten years of an indoor smoking ban in California has shown drastic reductions in smoke-related illnesses, such as emphysema, lung cancer and cardiac illness.
“Looking at the California data, these are numbers you just can’t ignore,” said Senator Adler.
The new law, which was signed on January 15, will fine smokers $250 the first time they light up in an indoor public place, including restaurants and bars. A second offense would carry a fine of $500, and subsequent offenses would be subject to a fine up to $1,000.
“We’re not trying to demonize smokers with this new law,” said Senator Adler. “If you’re a smoker, that’s fine, but you don’t have to share your habit with the world. By reducing the level of second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants, we will improve the health of the State and ensure a night out isn’t followed by a day at the dry cleaners.”