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New Jersey Assembly OKs smoking ban for beaches, parks

Published On: Mar 20 2014 03:24:31 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 04:54:36 AM CDT
Atlantic City, New Jersey beach - shore - ocean

AP

TRENTON, N.J. -

The New Jersey Assembly has approved a bill that would ban smoking at all public beaches and parks in New Jersey.

Thursday's vote now sends the measure to the state Senate, where a vote has not yet been scheduled.

The bill is designed to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke at beaches and parks, cut down on litter and improve fire safety in those public areas. Smoking would still be allowed in parking lots near beaches and parks.

Violators could get a $250 fine for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for subsequent violations.

The bill would require the state's health and environmental protection departments to come up with rules to implement the ban.