MARGATE CITY — Another Jersey Shore community is considering banning smoking on the beach.

This city is looking at implementing a ban of its own after residents became concerned beachgoers from newly smoke-free Longport would come and smoke on their beaches.

Solicitor John Scott Abbott and Public Safety Commissioner John Scott Abbott told Shore News Today while they both support a ban, they are concerned about enforcement and potential lawsuits that could result from those who object to the law.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, whose Monmouth County community has had a ban in effect for three years, said enforcement has not been an issue and there's been an increase in the number of visitors to their beaches.

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"It's been great, it's worked really well and enforcement has not been an issue whatsoever. In 2017, smokers are accustomed to regulations as to where they are prohibited from smoking," Doherty said, citing bars, restaurants and stadiums as places where smoking is also prohibited.

"We don't write a lot of tickets, we've never had an arrest. People get it and they respect the rule that you can't smoke at the beach," Doherty said.

Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of the New Jersey-based GASP (Global Advisors on Smokefree Police) said besides Belmar, the state's other smoke free beaches include Avon-by-the-Sea, Barnegat Light Boro (from May 1 to Sept. 30), Cape May Point, Long Beach (from May 20 to Oct. 1), Long Branch, Longport , Ocean Grove, Sea Girt, Somers Point, Sunset Beach in Lower Township and Upper Township.

Belmar, Seaside Park and Spring Lake have both smoke-free beaches and boardwalks. Wildwood's boardwalk goes smoke free in 2018 and North Wildwood is expected to approve a ban in June.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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