Chris Christie Vetoes New Jersey Beach Smoking Ban

In his letter explaining the veto, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says smoking bans are better if they're enacted at the local level.

Chris Christie announced last night that he was vetoing a bill that would have banned smoking in most of New Jersey’s beaches and parks.

“While I appreciate the sponsors’ concerns regarding the risks posed by smoking and second-hand smoke, I am not persuaded that a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all State ban on smoking at public parks and beaches is advisable at this time,” Christie wrote in his veto statement. “Too often, policy-makers at more centralized levels of government encroach into areas of public policy previously reserved for local governing bodies.”

Yes, it sounds like Christie is using this statement to help set himself up for a presidential run as a small-government conservative.

The bill passed 30-3 in the Senate and 63-8 in the Assembly. These are enough votes to override a veto, but the Asbury Park Press reports New Jersey Republicans haven’t voted to override Christie vetoes in the past.

“This is extremely unfortunate from both a public health perspective and from an environmental perspective,” N.J. Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, the bill’s chief sponsor, told the paper.

Christie Veto of Beach Smoking Ban