Sorry smokers but your reign on our boardwalks are about to come to an end.
Two New Jersey towns have just announced their boardwalks are now completely smoke free and those towns are Wildwood Crest and Seaside Heights.
What does this mean?
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That smoking anywhere on or near the beachfront is now banned.
This includes smoking any type of tobacco like cigars, cigarettes or vapes as well as marijuana or any other smoking apparatus for that matter.
Smoking was pretty much already banned on the beaches and a majority of the boardwalks but there were a lot of complaints submitted to the town that people were smoking wherever their hearts desired.
So....now there is an official rule on the books.
“We can’t stop them from walking down the street and smoking it,” said Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz. “We [now] have to have a reason to stop them.”
And yes, you can be ticketed for breaking this rule but it sounds like officials are hoping the public listens so no one has to be hassled.
“It depends on the situation,” Vaz said. “We want to do it the right. It’s new, so we want to be respectful.”
Well.....this new rule being passed in two New Jersey towns simultaneously got me thinking.
Shouldn't all New Jersey boardwalks ban smoking in general?
The areas where you are allowed to smoke are extremely limited anyways....would it really be that big of a difference?
But just because I choose to partake in the green doesn't mean that others around me should have to sit in smoke.
Smoke your bowl in your own home, get your buzz and then head out on the town. Everybody wins.
But this is where I am going to picture the bigger problem lies....tobacco smokers.
I personally have never been about the tobacco life but whenever I used to go out with a friend of mine...we'll call her Samantha...she would smoke cigarettes all day.
We would drive somewhere and she would have to smoke a cigarette upon arrival. We would order a drink and she would leave to go smoke a cigarette.
So I am not sure how to meet tobacco smokers in the middle on this. But if people can't smoke as they please....will they go elsewhere?
I guess you would just need to head away from the boardwalk each time?? But I know this could be a major hassle.
I am not sure what else to suggest but my next point is why I think we need to come up with something!
When someone sneaks a quick smoke -- whether it be tobacco or marijuana -- on or near the beach...others involuntarily breathe it in which we all know can be just as harmful as smoking the substance directly.
If you choose to smoke...I get it. But we need to keep the two worlds separate.
Not to mention, if smoking is banned only in Seaside Heights, smokers would just go to neighboring towns. I would bet a smoking ban is in a lot of Jersey Shore towns' future.
Like everything else I write about...email me your thoughts at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com whether you agree or disagree.
You can also call in to 94.3 The Point at (732) 643-0943.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
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