New Jersey’s beaches will soon be smoke free.

A state law banning smoking on beaches will go into effect this month, with the onus on towns to figure out how to enforce the rule.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a measure in July prohibiting smoking on public beaches and parks, though municipalities can create small sections for smokers. The goal is to keep cigarettes off the sand and out of the ocean, where marine life could ingest them.

“We can now breathe easier because the new ban on smoking in beaches and parks will go into effect,” said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

Those who violate the law are subject to a $250 fine for their first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The bill doesn’t specify which government body is responsible for enforcing the ban, leaving it up to towns to decide.

State legislators Steve Sweeney, Vin Gopal, Bob Smith, Vincent Mazzeo, Clinton Calabrese, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Paul Moriarty were primary sponsors of the bill.

Contact: 609-272-7258 Twitter @AvalonZoppo

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