Beach goers react to possible state smoking ban

OCEAN CITY – In Ocean City, a new ordinance banning smoking from the boardwalk will soon take effect. At the same time, state lawmakers await a decision from Governor Christie which would create a near-total smoking ban on all New Jersey beaches.

For some beachgoers in Ocean City, a puff on a cigarette completes a relaxing afternoon. But for others like Nicole Licastri of Toms River, the day when cigarette trash disappears from the beaches can’t come quick enough. nbc40 top technology news source

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“Second-hand smoke is awful for the children for the kids on the beaches, it’s just not healthy,” said Licastri.

Several North Jersey coastal towns have banned smoking altogether.  The mayor of Belmar tells NBC 40 he’s seen a 15% spike in tourism revenue since the ban went into effect earlier this summer. New Jersey lawmakers recently passed a bill banning smoking from all coastal beaches and boardwalks, except in small designated areas.

Some smokers like Heather Stefan say a complete ban would infringe on her rights.

“I think it’s silly. You have designated areas and you smoke in those areas, they are well signed. You don’t want to be around smoking? Walk on the other side of the boardwalk,” said Stefan.

Ocean City officials say a complete smoking ban will go into effect for the entire length of the boardwalk, but not on the actual beach.

Even if Governor Christie signs the bill, it wouldn’t take effect on the entire state for at least 180 days.

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