New Jersey tries again to ban most beach smoking

TRENTON, N.J. -- A bill that would ban most smoking on New Jersey's public beaches is advancing through the state Legislature.

A state Assembly committee on Monday approved and advanced the state's latest bill that would ban smoking at public beaches, except for designated smoking areas comprising 15 percent or less of the beach. Smokers would be allowed to light up in parking lots, too.

RELATED: New Jersey shore town approves ban on plastic straws, bags

Fines for violators would start at $250 for a first offense and reach $1,000 for a third offense.

But the key question of whether lifeguards, police officers or someone else would be responsible for enforcing the law remains unanswered.

That has led previous attempts to enact a smoking ban to be vetoed.

A Senate committee is due to consider the matter Monday afternoon.

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