MAYOR BOLLWAGE ANNOUNCES SMOKING BAN ON CITY PROPERTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Vence
908-820-4124
Public Information Office
 
 
MAYOR BOLLWAGE ANNOUNCES SMOKING BAN ON CITY PROPERTY
 
ELIZABETH, NJ— March 26, 2014 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage announced earlier today that smoking is now prohibited on City property. The details of the ban have been outlined within an ordinance, which received full support by the Elizabeth City Council and was passed at last night’s meeting.
 
“It is in the best interest of the City, as well as employees to prohibit smoking on municipal grounds. Tobacco pollution is a serious public health problem and second-hand smoke is not just an annoyance, but a serious hazard to all who are subjected to it,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “By creating a ban on smoking, we are proactively taking steps to create a healthier environment and there is no better place to begin then right here at City Hall.”
 
Ordinance number 4455 is established in Chapter 8.66 of the City of Elizabeth Code entitled “Smoking.” This means “the burning of, inhaling from, exhaling the smoke from or the possession of a lit cigar, pipe, cigarette or other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked, inhaled or exhaling of smoke or vapor from an Electronic Smoking Device.” This definition does not include “any medically prescribed inhalation devices including, but not limited to, inhalers, respirators or oxygen tanks.”
 
Signs, that will highlight the ban, will be placed in appropriate locations, as well as the fines and penalties for non-compliance. These sites will include the outdoor grounds of any City building, in all of the City parks; as well as recreational areas owned, leased or utilized by the City. Furthermore, adjacent parking lots to these facilities are also included. No person shall smoke in any vehicle, owned or leased by the City.
 
“This new ordinance will set a better example for children and drastically reduce litter in our public areas,” said Nelson Gonzalez, Councilman of the Second Ward. “The City of Elizabeth constantly encourages a healthy, sustainable lifestyle for its residents, so we should be doing everything possible to encourage good health and this smoking ban is one of them.”
 
If a Health, City Code or Law Enforcement Officer observes or reasonably believes that there exists a violation of this Chapter, he or she may issue a summons and complaint to the violator. The complaint will be written and served. Any person found guilty of violating this ordinance will be fined $100.00 plus court costs, except that any person found guilty of, or pleading guilty to, a first violation of this Chapter may be sentenced to no less than 10 hours of community service.
 
At least 220 of the total 565 municipalities in New Jersey have a smoking ban in its parks, with 14 others banning smoking on their beaches. The effective date of this ordinance will be 20 days after the final passage, which occurred last night by City Council and as well as the Mayor’s approval.
 
For more information on this ordinance, please call the City Clerk’s office at 908-820-4130 or visit www.elizabethnj.org.