LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill banning smoking at public beaches and parks unless local communities explicitly opt out and set aside a small smoking section.
Murphy was in Long Branch on Friday morning to sign a measure that was passed by the state Legislature last month.
“The Jersey Shore has always been one of our state’s – and nation’s – great natural treasures, and a place for families to enjoy,” Murphy said in a statement. “Signing this legislation demonstrates my firm commitment to protecting our environment and public health while preserving the quality and cleanliness of our public beaches and park areas.”
Like previous versions of the bill that have failed, the bill doesn’t specify who would be responsible for enforcing it: lifeguards, police or someone else.
Murphy said it shouldn’t be lifeguards, but left it to towns to decide enforcement.
The bill takes effect in six months and allows for designated smoking areas of 15 percent of a beach. Smokers also would be allowed to light up in parking lots.
Fines would start at $250 for a first offense and go up to $1,000 for a third offense.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)