[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 10-5-81 by Ord. No. 924. Amended 6-16-08 by Ord. No. 2270. Amended in its entirety 5-19-14 by Ord. No. 2439. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As determined by the New Jersey Legislature, smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death in the United States. In addition to the deleterious effects upon smokers, tobacco smoke is a substantial health hazard to the public, and an annoyance and a nuisance to the nonsmoking public. Tobacco smoke also creates a substantial health hazard to residents of the Borough of Somerville who may be participating in activities or events in or around buildings owned or leased by the Borough, including parks, playgrounds, swimming areas and recreation areas.
While it is not the public policy to deny anyone the right to smoke, a balance must be struck between the right of smokers to smoke and the right of nonsmokers to breathe clean air. The Borough of Somerville finds that in public buildings, public parks, playgrounds, swimming areas and recreation areas and on the surrounding premises, the right of nonsmokers to breathe clean air outweighs the right of smokers to smoke and, therefore, the Borough Council desires to prohibit smoking in Borough buildings and on their grounds, including within fifty (50) feet of the regularly used entrance, and shall include parks, playgrounds, publicly owned lands, swimming areas and recreation areas. This prohibition is consistent with N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, 40:48-2 and 2C:33-13, which provide that smoking may be prohibited by municipal ordinance in any public place, including, but not limited to, places of public accommodation, and the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, N.J.S.A. 26:3D-55 et seq., which permits municipal ordinances to impose greater prohibitions against smoking than those provided under the Act, and N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, 40:48-2 and 2C:33-13, which provide that smoking may be prohibited by municipal ordinance in any public place, including, but not limited to, places of public accommodation.
"No Smoking" signs, "Smoke-free" signs, or signs bearing the international "No Smoking" symbol shall be clearly, sufficiently and conspicuously posted in all places affected by this section. Such signs shall also indicate that violators are subject to the penalty provisions set forth in Section 145-3 of this Code.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-13, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the 1st offense and five hundred dollars ($500) for the 2nd offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the 3rd offense.