Watch CBS News

New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Bill To Ban Smoking At Beaches, Parks

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Lawmakers in New Jersey have sent a measure to Gov. Chris Christie's desk that would ban smoking at public beaches and parks.

The state Assembly and Senate approved the measure on Thursday. Christie vetoed an attempt to ban smoking at beaches and parks in September 2014.

He said on his regular call-in radio show on 101.5 FM Wednesday night that he doesn't see why the decision to ban smoking shouldn't be left to towns across the state.

"This is saying even if you don't want to prohibit smoking on your beach you must,'' Christie said.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said he doesn't want to see the state's beaches used as an ash tray.

"Just because it's sand doesn't mean you drop your butts in it,'' he said. "There are thousands of cigarette butts on those beaches, and you got kids playing with them. You know they've been in people's mouths.''

The ban would allow towns to set aside up to 15 percent of a beach for smoking. The ban also would not apply to parking lots adjacent to public parks or beaches.

Several shore towns already ban beach smoking, including Belmar, Lavallette and Long Branch.

The state Assembly in December approved a bill to raise the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 in late 2015, but Christie decided not to act on the legislation.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.