Vainieri Huttle on Christie’s Veto of Beach/Parks Smoking Ban: The Governor is Standing in the Way of a Healthier NJ

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Wednesday called Gov. Christie’s veto of a bill (A-1080) she sponsored to ban smoking at public parks and beaches a blow to both public health and the environment.
The bill, which Christie let sit on his desk for the last two and a half months, would have expanded New Jersey’s role as a leader in the public health movement after being one of the earliest states to ban smoking in indoor public places and raise the tobacco purchasing age to 19 in 2006.
“This is extremely unfortunate from both a public health perspective and from an environmental perspective.
“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in this country and everyone is well aware of the dangers of second-hand smoking in this day and age. The damage discarded cigarettes do to our already fragile ecosystems is also well-documented.
“I would have hoped the governor would have joined the overwhelming majority of the legislature who supported this bill by standing up for the public’s best interests.
“By vetoing this measure, the governor is essentially ignoring empirical evidence and standing in the way of a healthier New Jersey,” said Vainieri Huttle.