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NJ discussing smoking ban at beaches and parks

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — State lawmakers are considering a law that would ban smoking at all public beaches and parks in New Jersey.

A state Assembly committee will discuss the proposal at a hearing Thursday morning in Trenton.

The bill is designed to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke at beaches and parks, cut down on litter and improve fire safety in those public areas. Smoking would still be allowed in parking lots near beaches and parks.

Violators could get a $250 fine for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for subsequent violations.

The bill would require the state’s health and environmental protection departments to come up with rules to implement the smoking ban.

A final vote has not yet been scheduled.