Smoking ban near building entrances to be considered

BY FRAIDY REISS Correspondent


Soon your butts might be unwelcome even outside county buildings.The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders is expected to consider a resolution that would ban smoking within at least 25 feet of entrances to the county’s 70 buildings.

“People who go to smoke stand right outside the door of the building,” said James Gray, the clerk to the freeholders. “We’ve been getting a lot of complaints from employees and from visitors.”

Details of the resolution, which was in the process of being drafted, were not yet available as of press time on Monday. However, Gray did say that for some buildings the measure would expand the 25-foot no-smoking area, and for other buildings the measure would confine all outdoor smoking to a specified area.

The freeholders probably will discuss and vote on the resolution within a month, most likely at their March 23 meeting, Gray said. That would mean the freeholders will discuss the countywide outdoor smoking ban just two-and-a-half weeks before a statewide ban on smoking in most indoor public places and work places takes effect on April 15.

Monmouth County counsel Malcolm V. Carton confirmed that he is in the process of drafting the resolution, but declined to provide details about it. He said only that he is working “building by building” to designate smoking and non-smoking areas, and that he received the request to draft the measure from state Superior Court Judge Lawrence Lawson, who sits in Freehold.

Lawson was not available for comment.

County resolutions carry the full force of law and the county smoking ban will have fines and penalties, to be determined, attached, Gray said.