NJ tries, again, to ban most beach smoking

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey is trying -- yet again -- to ban most smoking on public beaches, but it still hasn't answered a question that has snubbed out past efforts: Who would be responsible for enforcing the ban?

State Assembly and Senate committees are scheduled Monday to consider 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.

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.

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