Township Council Approves Ban On Smoking On Public Property

3-22-16 Meeting - 6

Members of the Franklin Township Youth Council speak March 22 in favor of the township’s proposed ban on smoking on public property.

It is now illegal to smoke on any township-owned property.

The Township Council on March 22 passed on second reading an ordinance banning smoking in all township parks, recreational facilities and athletic fields, as well as all municipally owned buildings.

Smoking is also prohibited in all parking lots and driveways connected to publicly owned property.

The council received support for the vote from a representative of the Somerset County Board of Health and several health-based organizations. Also on hand were a number of representatives from the Franklin Township Youth Council, who performed a bit of street theater in showing their support.

Franklin is now the seventh Somerset County town to institute a 100 percent ban on smoking on public property, according to Karen Blumenthal, executive director of New Jersey GASP. The other towns are Far Hills, Hillsborough, Manville, Raritan Borough, Warren and Watching, she said.

Blumenthal told the council that Franklin is now the 309th town in New jersey to impose a ban on smoking on public property.

The issue was first raised in 2013 by Alice Osipowitz, the township’s recreation director. She enlisted the help of the Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, the township’s Advisory Board of Health and, in a limited manner, the township’s Open Space Advisory Committee.

The open space committee favored a ban that would create designated smoking areas where applicable. The township’s proposed ordinance does not include that provision.

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