Proposal To Ban Smoking In Parks To Be Taken Up By Township Council

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An ordinance that would ban smoking in all township parks is expected to be considered by the Township Council at its Sept. 23 meeting.

Gov. Chris Christie recently said that it should be left to New Jersey’s towns to decide if smoking should be banned in open spaces, and the Township Council is scheduled to take him up on that.

The council is scheduled to consider at its Sept. 23 meeting the introduction of an ordinance that would ban smoking in all public parks.

The ordinance has been championed by Alice Osipowitz, the township’s director of parks and recreation.

The idea for a smoking ban in township parks has been endorsed by the township’s Advisory Board of Health, the Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse and the township Open Space Advisory Committee, which gave it its blessings with a modification.

Open Space committee members wanted areas set aside in the township’s larger parks to accommodate smoking.

The ordinance scheduled to be considered by the council contains an outright ban on smoking, said township manager Bob Vornlocker.

Christie recently vetoed proposed statewide legislation that would have banned smoking in public parks and on beaches. Christie said towns should have the power to ban smoking if they so choose.

When she appeared before the Open Space Advisory Committee in October 2013, Osipowitz said that about 160 towns across the state had already instituted smoking bans in public spaces.

The Township Council meets at 7 p.m. in the municipal building on DeMott Lane.

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