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News Summary

N.J. backing off on smoke-free buffer zone

Publication Date: 2006-05-04
  • Author:Kat Main
  • Publication:The Express-Times

State officials are backing off a plan to create smoker-free zones within 25 feet of private businesses and public buildings.

"I thought that perhaps it was something local businesses and municipalities should deal with themselves," state Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred Jacobs said Wednesday.

Instead of the 25-foot proposed rule, business owners and municipalities have the right to set their own rules, provided they don't harm the public's health, Jacobs said...

He said the 25-foot requirement was created because officials thought it was necessary to prevent backwashing of smoke into a smoke-free area.

"The Legislature, when they passed the law, didn't consider a buffer and didn't include it. It was overreaching for the regulations to include it," Jacobs said.