Majority Votes Against New Smoking Ban at the Jersey Shore

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( — September 26, 2016) Somers Point, NEW JERSEY –You may have heard about the smoking ban in Beach Haven New Jersey that was passed by the township earlier this year. This Long Beach Island town is just one of many Jersey Shore beach towns to join the movement. Public parks such as beaches, beach entrances, and parks have been designated as nonsmoking areas, despite the open air of the outdoors.

We took a poll on Best Of– a website dedicated to providing tourism resources and local information about Long Beach Island- to find out how people felt about the smoking ban. This poll is still open, but the results were gathered on August 30th, just days before the official end of the season as it is marked by Labor Day weekend. After reading the details about smoking bans on public outdoor properties in LBI, sixty-two people answered the question, “How do you feel about outdoor No Smoking laws?” Based on the current poll results, the majority disagrees with the no smoking policy for beaches and parks (56.45%) while less than half are pleased about the new laws (43.55%).

To gain more insight about the reasons people feel passionately about this ban, we took to Instagram. Our post included some info about the anti-smoking laws, and posed the following questions: What do you think? Should there be laws banning smoking everywhere?! Some responded in saying that the outdoor smoking bans were overreaching, and that America was starting to look more like the early days of the Soviet Union.

Others attacked smokers for polluting the beaches by leaving “dirty butts” all over the sand. One person anticipated an overly zealous response from Beach Haven police officers. Someone else made a point about having smoking and nonsmoking areas designated on the beach to make everybody happy, following in the footsteps of one Beach Haven hotel.

Spray Beach Hotel poured tens of thousands of dollars into renovations this year to create specific areas outdoors for smokers. The hotel rooms and shared spaces indoors and outdoors are strictly smoke-free areas, but there are four places where smokers are permitted to light up. Spray Beach Hotel’s onsite restaurant and hotel lobby were the first to be designated smoke-free, in compliance with a statewide law passed back in 2010. Currently, a law is pending to enforce a nonsmoking policy at all public beaches, parks, and playgrounds in New Jersey.

While the majority seem to think that these laws are unreasonable, there is a solid group of people who welcome the law with arms wide open. Smoking has been widely acknowledged as a health hazard with plenty of attention even placed on the dangers of second hand smoke inhalation.

Television commercials are consistently sending the message in conjunction with federally funded anti-smoking ad campaigns that have been going strong since 2012. Millions of people have attempted to quit smoking as a result. The war on smoking has been going on even longer than the DARE program, a substance abuse prevention program implemented in 1983. Warning labels were added to cigarette packages started in 1965. Four years later, the Department of Justice passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, which prevented the advertising of cigarettes on the television or radio.

Long Beach Island residents in favor of the smoke-free public areas are focusing on the health and environmental benefits. Clean beaches, clear air and less influence on children are things that nonsmokers have come to expect going forward. As the antismoking movement is gaining momentum, the vast majority still claims to resent the outdoor ban on smoking at the beaches and parks in Long Beach Island.

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