"The anti-smoking movement has become more sophisticated in its efforts to enact bans and restrictions on smoking.... They have adopted a 'Pac-man' strategy where they attempt to gobble up one community at a time.... The 'Pac-man' strategy makes sense for the antis because it is easier for a group of extremists to have an impact on the local level than in larger jurisdictions.... The solution to 'Pac-man' is statewide pre-emption."Tina Walls
The New Jersey Smokefree Air Act went into effect April 15, 2006. It makes most workplaces, including factories, offices, government buildings, restaurants, and bars 100% smokefree. In addition, the law restored the right of local control, allowing cities in the Garden State to consider and enact stronger smokefree protections. Read New Jersey's 100% smokefree law.
While bars and restaurants in casinos are smokefree, casino floors are exempt from the law. Since the Smokefree Air Act restored local control, the Atlantic City City Council adopted a law to further address smoking on casino floors by prohibiting smoking on 75% of casino floors. Additionally, the 2010-2011 legislature is considering several bills to close the loophole for smoking on casino floors.
In January 2010, the Governor signed a bill to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places and workplaces that are covered by the state smokefree law.
New Jersey has the strongest smokefree college law in the country. On August 22, 2005, acting Governor Richard Codey signed Senate Bill 2332, which made all residence halls on all New Jersey college campuses, both public and private, 100% smokefree as of October 2005.
Current tobacco-related statistics are available from the Centers for Disease
Control State Highlights, 2010.
Read more about tobacco-related legislation from SLATI and New Jersey GASP.
New Jersey's 2016 Legislative Session: January 12 - January 10, 2017
- 1/15/2016A2057 - (cigar bar exemption) - An Act concerning cigar bars—Passed Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on 12/15, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
- 1/15/2016A2129 - (e-cigarette shop exemption) - An Act concerning vapor retail establishments
- 2/1/2016A2368 - (penalty for smokefree violation) - An Act concerning smoking in public places—Substituted by S1731
- 2/1/2016A2428 - (state beaches/parks) - An Act prohibiting smoking at State-owned beaches
- 2/5/2016A2623 - (sections state beaches/parks) - An Act designating sections of State beaches, parks, and forests as smokefree areas
- 1/15/2016A263 - (college residences) - An Act concerning the use of tobacco products in student residence buildings of institutions of higher education
- 2/12/2016A2936 - (casinos) - An Act amending the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air
- 3/4/2016A3439 - (cigar bar exemption) - An Act creating a cigar night smoking ban exemption for racetracks and off-track wagering facilities
- 5/20/2016A3773 - (cigar bar exemption) - An Act concerning cigar bars and lounges—Passed by the Assembly (64-3-7) and Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
- 5/20/2016A3792 - (tobacco free pharmacies) - An Act concerning tobacco and electronic smoking devices
- 6/3/2016A3860—(vehicles with minors)—An Act concerning smoking in automobiles
- 6/17/2016A3975—(research exemption)—An Act to permit smoking in certain facilities for purpose of medical or scientific health-related research—Amended and Passed the Assembly (75-0-0)
- 1/15/2016A617 - (e-cigarette lounge exemption) - Permits vapor lounges for use of electronic smoking devices to be opened under certain circumstances
- 1/15/2016A893 - (parks and beaches) - An Act concerning smoking at public parks and beaches—Vetoed by Governor
- 2/5/2016S1016 - (state beaches/parks) - An Act prohibiting smoking at State-owned beaches
- 2/12/2016S1487 - (cigar bar exemption) - An Act creating a cigar night smoking ban exemption for racetracks and off-track wagering facilities
- 2/12/2016S1517 - (casinos) - An Act amending the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air
- 3/4/2016S1731 - (penalty for smokefree violation) - An Act concerning smoking in public places—Substituted for A2368, Passed Assembly (71-0-2)
- 3/4/2016S1734 - (parks and beaches) - An Act concerning smoking at public parks and beaches—Substituted by A893
- 3/4/2016S1741 - (housing) - An Act regulating smoking in multiple dwellings
- 5/6/2016S2135 - (tobacco free pharmacies) - An Act concerning tobacco and electronic smoking devices - Passed Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee; Referred to Budget and Appropriations Committee
- 10/17/2016S2566—(cigar bar exemption)—An Act concerning cigar bars—Passed Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on 12/15, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
- 10/17/2016S2571—(cigar bar exemption)—An Act concerning cigar bars and lounges
- 11/4/2016S2766—(e-cigarette shop exemption)—An Act concerning vapor retail establishments
- 1/15/2016S531 - (research exemption) - An Act to permit smoking in certain facilities for purpose of medical or scientific health-related research
- 6/26/2017Preemption Watch Bill Tracking Summary
- 2/4/2011What's happening in the U.S. Territories and Commonwealths?
- 7/6/2017Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won't Let Them.
- 5/10/2017The Threat of Super-Preemption
- 3/6/2017Preemption Prevents Innovation
- 2/21/2017City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis
- 2/2/2017Red State, Blue City
- 1/5/2017GOP aims to rein in liberal cities
- 9/9/2016How ALEC, ACCE, and Preemption Laws are Gutting the Powers of American Cities
- 9/9/2016Why NJ's anti-smoking lawmaker is leading the effort to open cigar lounges
- 8/22/2016Blue Cities, Red States
- 8/6/2016'Beaches into ashtrays': After conditional veto, smoking still OK on most NJ beaches
- 7/16/2016Christie Won't Force Towns To Ban Smoking At Beaches, Parks
- 6/28/2016Colorado Preemptions of Local Government: The Need for the Colorado Community Rights Amendment
- 6/23/2016State and Local Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws for Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars--United States, 2015
- 5/26/2016Bill to ban smoking at public beaches, parks heads to Christie's desk
- 5/24/2016Measures to restrict smoking at public beaches and ban it entirely at parks are scheduled for a vote in the New Jersey Legislature
- 4/6/2016From Fracking Bans To Paid Sick Leave: How States Are Overruling Local Laws
- 4/1/2016Growing Southern cities are increasingly targets of state pre-emption
- 3/25/2016Beyond North Carolina's LGBT Battle: States' War on Cities
- 2/4/2016Corporate Interests Take Aim at Local Democracy
- 8/6/2015Blowing the Whistle on ALEC's Little Brother ACCE
- 7/7/2015Four Ways ALEC Tried to Ruin Your State this Year
- 5/17/2015Say no: States increasingly blocking cities and counties from imposing mandates on businesses
- 5/8/2015State lawmakers hate federal meddling even as they preempt local government
- 3/30/2015The ALEC-Backed War on Local Democracy
- 2/23/2015Govern Yourselves, State Lawmakers Tell Cities, but Not Too Much
- 7/13/2014EDITORIAL: N.J. right to extend no-smoking areas, but not smoking age
- 6/13/2014N.J. Senate Passes Bill Altering Penalties For Smoking In Public
- 2/5/2010State Preemption of Local Smoke-Free Laws in Government Work Sites, Private Work Sites, and Restaurants United States, 2005-2009
- 3/10/2009State considering total smoking ban for AC casinos
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State Specific Resources
- 11/14/2012New Jersey GASP: Local Authority Resolution Project
- 8/10/2005Restore: NJ Letter to Local Governments
- 5/4/2004New Jersey Medical Association Position of Support based on CDC's Recommendation
- 4/26/2004Resolution to Repeal Preemption - Salem County, NJ Board of Chosen Freeholders