Smoking Banned in Essex County Public Parks

Bad news for smokers in Essex County… your next butt could cost you up to $200.

On Wednesday, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a Smoke-Free Air ordinance banning smoking in any county-owned park.

The ban also applies to any area within 25 feet of any Essex County building entrance, whether it be owned, leased or used for official county business.

Prohibited are cigars, cigarettes, pipes, e-cigarettes, hookahs or “any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked.”

Violators are subject to:

  • A written warning for the first offense
  • A $100 fine for a second offense
  • A $200 fine for a third offense

“The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act specifically authorizes local restrictions on smoking equivalent to, or greater than those provided in the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act for purposes of protecting public health,” the ordinance states.

The ordinance doesn’t state when the smoking ban will take effect.

Although the ban includes many popular attractions such as South Mountain Reservation and Turtle Back Zoo, there is one exception where smoking will still be allowed… Weequahic Park Golf Course in Newark.