Home Lavallette Government Lavallette Council Turns Down Beach Smoking Ban

Lavallette Council Turns Down Beach Smoking Ban


No smoking sign at a local beach.
No smoking sign at a local beach.

Requests from two residents at a council meeting Monday night were not enough to convince borough officials to enact an anti-smoking rule on Lavallette’s beaches.

Mayor Walter LaCicero said the “perennial” request to ban smoking was not something the governing body hadn’t dealt with before, and – like this year – could not garner enough council support.

“Smoking has gotten to be a lot less in Lavallette, thankfully,” said resident Mary Heveran. “However on certain parts of our beaches there are people who smoke cigars consantly.”


Heveran asked council members to consider a ban at a future meeting, but LaCicero instead asked for the matter to be dealt with immediately, requesting a motion from a council member to propose the ban.

Councilwoman Joanne Filippone did so.

“I think we have to take a stand like all the other beaches have done,” said Filippone. “If Seaside Heights can have a beach with no smoking, I think we can have one too.”

Jim MacDonald, a Camden Avenue resident, agreed that a ban should be put into place, saying he started a discussion on a local Facebook group proposing a ban. The Facebook group’s members, he said, “15 or 20 to one,” supported a ban, but the administrator of the page removed the debate because it had “turned nasty.”

No other council members seconded Filippone’s motion, effectively killing the chances of a ban being passed.

James Borowski made his own motion to ban smoking within the flagged areas where swimming is allowed, but likewise received no second.

Council members brought up varying reasons why they would not support a ban. Councilman Robert Lamb said he was concerned over how the ban would be enforced.

“It’s hard enough to keeps dogs off the beach and people off the dunes,” he said.

Heveran said the ban would be mostly self-enforced – a sign banning smoking would stop the vast majority of people from doing so – and Filippone said it could be enforced the same the myriad of other beach regulations are handled.

“I don’t expect the badge checkers to be enforcers,” said Filippone. “All it takes is a phone call to the police department. They’ll come down and ticket them.”

“My concern is that you’re just moving it to another place,” said Councilman Michael Stogdill. “You move it to the boardwalk or you move it to the street.”

Council President Anita Zalom said the borough only owns to the high water mark, which would make it difficult to enforce at the water line or on jetties.

The lack of support for a ban did not satisfy the residents who spoke out in favor of it.

“I can’t believe not one of you wouldn’t second Joanne’s motion,” MacDonald told council members.

Lavallette is one of the last local holdouts where smoking is still allowed on the sand. It is either banned or heavily regulated in Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Ortley Beach and Bay Head.

A statewide beach smoking ban overwhelmingly passed both chambers of the state legislature last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Should Smoking Be Banned (or Regulated) on Lavallette Beaches?

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  • Tom Messner

    I’ll have to remember the high water line rule when I smoke my cigar on the beach. Chances are it would not get me out of a ticket in Seaside Park or Seaside Heights.

  • Jimmie the Mum

    I smoke my cigar in Lavallette, mainly by the jetty so not to offend anyone. However, I also put up with people playing their music, loud chatter & taking up way more space than necessary. I don’t see nor would I want a ordinance against that. It’s a public beach & I have as much right as anyone else to enjoy my pastime. Let’s just be respectful of each other’s space.

    • Lavalletter

      Unfortunately you are the respectful minority. I deal with smokers setting up next to my family puffing cigarette after cigarette with the wind blowing directly into my kids faces. It’s a terrible example for kids and deadly for the smokers. Sometimes people need to be protected from themselves, This is why its illegal to go without a helmet on a motorcycle. 37% decrease in fatalities since that law. Same concept – protect the public from their terrible decisions so the rest of us don’t have to foot the medical bill.

  • michael gerardo

    I’ve been going to Lavallette since the 50’s.I’ve owned a home since the late 60’s.I can see people smoking cigars by the jettas only.I really don’t want smoking on the beach,whether it’s cigars or cigarettes.Many of the smokers just put their garbage in the sand,which I hate.Policing this could be a problem.
    Another beach problem is the people eating on the beach,and not throwing their garbage in the trash containers.A small sandwich or a bag of chips is okay.However,you have people ordering and having pizzas being delivered.The pizzerias shouls say no to this.Nobody is policing this or saying a word to stop it.This is a growing problem where I go on the beach.This should be brought up,and looked into.

  • Lavalletter

    Enjoy Lavallette tuning into the place where the smokers of seaside heights now come. Anyone who smokes now its clearly addicted and willfully ignorant to the heath issues. Don’t complain when you can’t breathe when you are older and die a death of suffocation and cancer. Pay for all of your own medical care too – not insurance’s fault you don’t care about yourself. So sick and tired of the survivor bias. Good for you that you aren’t dead yet. Remember this post when you are explaining to your grandchildren why this will be your last Christmas together,

  • Vinny Gracchus

    Reject smoking bans.

  • Bill Lommey

    Looks like I won’t be spending my money in Lavallette this year.