The New Jersey assembly today opened up debate on a bill that would ban smoking at state beaches and parks. Fines would run from $250 for first-time offenders to $500 for repeaters, and then $1000 for each subsequent puff. (It seems unclear how they would effectively police this.) Last summer, our resident Shore expert Jen Miller laid out a compelling case for such a ban. As she pointed out:
Cape May tried to pass an beach smoking ban in 2012, but the proposal was shot down by the argument that it would hurt tourism. I don’t buy that. Belmar saw a 17.6% jump in beach tag sale the year after it restricted smoking on its beaches. I heard similar shrill scare tactics in advance of New Jersey’s 2006 indoor smoking ban, and that didn’t quite pan out.
Read the whole piece here.