Recently, the state Assembly voted in favor of a smoking ban on public beaches. Why?

Is it because of fire? I don't think so. I've lived at the shore or near it my whole life and have never seen a fire in the sand.

Is it because of the litter? This could be one reason, but then I would think the brain trust in Trenton would address the litter issue.

Is it because of the dangers of secondhand smoke? Although this seems to be the most likely, I don't even think this is the real reason. If it were, then gasoline engines of all forms, and all other fossil-fuel-burning devices, would be outlawed. I am sure they put more carcinogens in the air then a cigar or cigarette.

No, I think this is another feel-good law that our legislators have decided is necessary so they look good in the eyes of their constituents. Not only is this a waste of their time, but it infringes upon our rights as citizens of this country. Contrary to some people's beliefs, "Big Brother" doesn't know what's best for everyone.

I am not a cigarette smoker, but I do enjoy the occasional cigar, and the beach is one of my favorite places to relax. I try to make sure I am not bothering anyone with the smoke, and I always place my butt in with the rest of my trash (even though a cigar is a totally natural product). I implore the Senate not to pass this legislation, and if it does, I hope the governor has the good sense to veto it.

JOSEPH PIETROPOLA

Egg Harbor City

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