LOWER TOWNSHIP — The Cape May-Lewes Ferry in the North Cape May section and its parking lots will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority will join businesses, government agencies and schools to go tobacco-free.

The authority owns and operates the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Forts Ferry Crossing and manages the Millville and Cape May airports and three airports in Delaware.

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The authority’s new policy prohibits smoking and tobacco use at agency property, inside and outside, and applies to all agency employees, contractors, customers, patrons, vendors and visitors.

Effective Jan. 1, smoking or use of tobacco products, objects or devices, including cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco products will be prohibited on authority property. This policy applies aboard ferry vessels, in administrative facilities, terminal buildings and anywhere on the campus, including parking lots, sidewalks and other outdoor venues.

The agency is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment, said Vincent P. Meconi, the authority’s chief operations officer.

“Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in this country,” Meconi said. “Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that can lead to illness and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults. We are focused on promoting a healthier lifestyle and improving everyone’s quality of life.”

Signs prohibiting smoking and tobacco use on all company property, inside and outside, will be displayed at all authority facilities. The policy will be posted on the authority website and on employee bulletin boards.

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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