EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Smoking at township parks may soon be a thing of the past.
The Township Committee has introduced an ordinance banning smoking at local parks following a recommendation from the Recreation Committee.
“We need fresh air at all of the parks,”said Committeewoman Laura Pfrommer
The ordinance bans cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic smoking devices and tobacco at parks. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Municipal Building, 3515 Bargaintown Road.
Around the region, several municipalities have adopted similar ordinances, including Atlantic City, Hamilton Township, Pleasantville, Ocean City and Somers Point. Cape May County has banned smoking only at its zoo.
Municipalities are in charge of creating ordinance banning smoking at parks, after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking in the state’s parks and beaches in September 2014. Under the vetoed measure, smoking would have been banned at parks and limited at beaches under the bill approved by the state Senate and Assembly. The bill garnered overwhelming support in both chambers. It aimed to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, cut down on litter and curtail fire risks.
If approved, violators of the ordinance are subject to a fines ranging from $100 to $2,000. The person could also be sentenced to a 90-day prison sentence and community service.
The township’s version of the ordinance was developed after reviewing ordinances in other towns, said Peter Miller, township administrator.
“The only changes we made were to include e-cigarettes in it,” Miller said.