Mayor’s Message: Review of the township’s smoking ban

The ordinance was adopted in an effort to protect the health of Voorhees Township residents

Mayor Michael Mignogna

In 2013, the Voorhees Township Committee adopted an ordinance that prohibited smoking on all township owned land. Previously, the ban covered only public school property.

Studies have shown that breathing environmental tobacco smoke is a significant health hazard for children, the elderly, and individuals with cardiovascular disease, impaired respiratory function and asthma. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), a class A carcinogen. According to the U.S. Surgeon General 2006 report, SHS aggravates and increases the risk of chronic diseases including asthma, allergies, heart disease, pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and diabetes.

The township committee believes that the general health and well being of our residents is a top priority and this prohibition benefits everyone. It is in our best interest to refer to all township owned land as “Smoke Free Zones.”

The ordinance bans smoking within the boundaries of any Voorhees Township owned land or any property which is owned, maintained or in the possession of the township, including all parks, playgrounds, active and passive recreational facilities, the Municipal Complex, Police Department, Fire Department and the Department of Public Works. Any person found to be in violation of this ordinance will be issued a summons and subject to a fine of $100 to $150 for the first offense, $150 to $250 for the second offense and $300 to $500 for any subsequent offense.

This smoking ban covers all parks including Connolly Park, Giangiulio Sports Complex, Maiaroto Sports Complex, Rabinowitz Sports Complex, Lions Lake Complex, Kirkwood Sports Park, John Hale Memorial park, Lake Villa Playground, Round Hill Road Playground, Sandpiper Drive Playground, Sheppard Road Basketball Courts and Stafford Woods Disc Golf Course.

Voorhees is proud to join other local communities in instituting such a ban to protect the health of our families.

** Our Summer Twilight Series concludes with our annual Movie Night in the Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. The popular animated comedy Cocowill be shown on a state of the art digital LED screen. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Connolly Park and is free.

** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information about tickets visit www.voorheesnj.com.