TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner to require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to designate smoke free sections at the State’s beaches, parks and forests was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment Committee today.
“In 2006, the State’s indoor smoking ban took effect and residents were finally able to breathe easier at restaurants throughout New Jersey,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “This ban was a first step to improving the health and quality of life for our residents. The indoor smoking ban has helped protect our citizens from second-hand smoke. My measure will go one step further and protect citizens from second hand-smoke while they enjoy our State’s parks, beaches and forests.”
The bill, S-871, would require New Jersey owned beaches, parks, and forests to have designated smoke-free areas. The DEP would also have to provide the disposal receptacles for cigarette butts and other tobacco products in the designated areas.
According to Senator Turner, “State owned beaches, parks, and forests are important assets to the State, and by prohibiting and limiting smoking at these places, New Jersey’s natural assets will be better preserved and maintained and visitors will find value in having smoke-free areas.”
Senator Turner stated that, “Not only will this measure improve the health of the residents of New Jersey, but it will also help keep our parks and beaches cleaner by reducing the amount of litter in these places.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.