New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs law banning smoking on beaches and in parks

LONG BRANCH, New Jersey -- New Jersey's governor has signed a bill banning most smoking at public beaches and parks.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was in Long Branch Friday morning to sign a measure that was passed by the state Legislature last month.

Like previous versions of the bill that have failed, the new law 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 law allows for designated smoking areas of 15 percent of a beach. Smokers will also be allowed to light up in parking lots.

"For far too long we've turned our beaches into ashtrays and allowed second-hand smoke to impact our children when they are building sand castles on our beaches or playing in parks and playgrounds," said Jeff Tittel, with the Sierra Club. "And so it's critical that we ban smoking not just on the beaches but also in the state parks so that children can breathe easier."

Fines start at $250 for a first offense and go up to $1,000 for a third offense.

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