NJ State Laws at a Glance

The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act (NJ SFAA)

The NJ SFAA was passed by the New Jersey legislature and signed by the Governor in January, 2006. Effective April 15, 2006, the new law requires smokefree environments in essentially all indoor workplaces and places open to the public, except gaming areas in casinos. In 2007, supplemental regulations were enacted to help implement the NJ SFAA. Go to the NJ SFAA section of our website to find specifics about the 2006 NJ SFAA including the 2007 implementing regulations, enforcement, using local laws to enhance and augment the law, and data that supports passage of the NJ SFAA. In January 2010, the Act was amended, effective March 13, 2010, to prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices, and prohibit the sale to persons under the age of 19.

In addition to the NJ SFAA, there are State laws and regulations that pertain to specific facilities and occupations. See below for details.

Below are very short summaries of the laws on tobacco, plus other laws that can be used to control tobacco use. You can view more detailed descriptions of state laws on tobacco in New Jersey. Full text of the laws can be found at www.njleg.state.nj.us. For more information, contact New Jersey GASP.

Read the GASP list of state tobacco control bills introduced in the current and historical New Jersey legislative sessions.

Tobacco Use

Sales to persons under 19 years of age

It is prohibited to sell or give tobacco in any form to a person under 19. Signs required at all points of display and sale. It is illegal for anyone 19 or older to purchase tobacco for a person under 19. NJSA 2A:170-51.1 and 4, NJSA 54:40A-4.1. This Act was amended to also ban electronic cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.

Cigarette vending machines on school property

Cigarette vending machines are prohibited on any property owned by a school board and used for school purposes. NJSA 18A:36-32

Ban on sale of loose cigarettes

Cigarettes must be sold in a sealed pack of a minimum of 20 cigarettes per pack (bans the sale of single cigarettes). NJSA 54:40A-1 and 2

Ban on sale of certain flavored cigarettes

Prohibits selling or furnishing of cigarettes with characterizing flavors other than tobacco, clove, or menthol. NJS 2A:170-51.5 and 6

Ban on sale of novelty lighters

Prohibits selling of lighters designed to resemble any cartoon character, animal, musical instrument, toy, gun, watch, vehicle, food, or beverage or similar articles, or that plays musical notes, or has flashing lights or other entertaining features. P.L. 2009 c. 163, effective June 21, 2010.

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Tobacco Use

Electronic Cigarettes

On January 11, 2010, New Jersey Governor Corzine signed into law A4227/4228, which bans the use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces (amended the 2006 NJ Smokefree Air Act), and ban e-cigarette sales to people 18 years and younger. This is the first state law of its kind, in the nation, with the New Jersey Senate and Assembly both voting unanimously in favor of the law. The law took effect in 60 days on March 13, 2010. Click here to read A-4227/4228.

Correctional facilities

In March 1994, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections issued two policies to make most areas of Department of Corrections complexes and vehicles smokefree. Exceptions: inmates may smoke in single-occupancy cells in close custody housing and in designated outdoor areas; officers may smoke in the institutional towers, in state owned vehicles if only the driver is present, and in designated outdoor areas. Enforced by the Inmate Code of Prohibited Acts or, for employees, consultants, volunteers, and visitors, by HRB 84-17, E-3, "Smoking Where Prohibited".

Employment discrimination

An employer shall not take adverse action against an employee because the employee does or does not use tobacco, except on a rational basis reasonably related to the employment. Does not apply to employee contributions to employer-sponsored health or life insurance plans. The right to breathe clean air should supersede smoking. NJSA 34:6B-1 through 2

Public Places

Smoking may be prohibited in any public place, including outdoor areas and sports facilities, by the person in control or by municipal ordinance. Signs are required. NJSA 2C:33-13 b and c

Retail food establishments

Employees shall not use tobacco in food preparation areas, or while in food preparation or service or cleaning food equipment. NJAC 8:24-4.2(b)

College residential housing

New Jersey's Smokefree College Residential Housing Law prohibits smoking in any portion of a building used as a student dormitory that is owned and operated or otherwise utilized by a school or institution of higher education. The school administration, police officer, or public servant shall enforce the regulation, and post signs at the entrances. Fines are $100, maximum, for the smoker. For the administrator or person in control of the premises who knowingly fails or refuses to comply, fines are $25 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $200 for each subsequent offense. Enforcement is by written citizen complaint filed with the New Jersey Department of Health or local board of health (N.J.S.A. 26:3D-17 through 20). The law took effect 60 days after signing (signed August 22, 2005).

Hotels and multiple dwellings

The owner shall eliminate or abate any odors from the use or occupancy of the premises which constitute a nuisance harmful or potentially harmful to the health and wellbeing of ordinarily sensitive occupants or users. NJAC 5:10-6.2

Nuisance (may apply to hotels, multiple residential, office, and commercial buildings)

Local boards of health shall define what constitutes a nuisance in all public and private places and prohibit any nuisance or noxious gases which are injurious to health. NJSA 26:3-45 through 63 and NJAC 8:52-3.6 generally. A person commits a petty disorderly offense if, with purpose to harass, s/he engages in acts that annoy another person or endanger the safety or health of a considerable number of persons. NJAC 2C:33-12 through 12.1

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Cosmetology and hairstyling shops and schools

No licensed practitioner or patron shall smoke while services are performed. Cosmetology and hairstyling schools shall not permit smoking in classrooms or clinics. NJAC 13:28-3.3(f) and 6.14

Hospitals shall be smokefree.

State psychiatric hospitals may prohibit smoking on its grounds, if it offers a smoking cessation program for both employees, and residents and patients. NJSA 26:3D-58.1 et seq.

Residential health care facilities

Residents shall not smoke in their rooms and other secluded areas. NJAC 8:43-6.1(a)6(i) through (iv)

Residential substance abuse treatment facilities

Smoking is prohibited within all buildings, on the grounds, or in vehicles used to transport patients. NJAC 8:42:A-3.11(a) and (b)

Resource family children in homes and vehicles

Bans smoking in all resource family homes (foster homes, adoptive homes, family friend homes and relative care homes), cars that transport a resource family child, and outdoors when a resource family child is present. NJAC 10:122C-7.2(a)(3)

School buses and vehicles

No smoking on school buses and vehicles even if students are not present in the vehicle. Applies to public, private, or professional tranining school buses. 2C:33-13a through b.

Public Transportation

No smoking in buses, including school buses, or other public conveyances except group charter buses, smoking-permitted cars on trains, limousines or livery services, taxis occupied only by the driver. NJSA 2C:33-13(a) through (c)

Fireworks plants and stores

Smoking is prohibited in a fireworks plant or store where fireworks are sold. Signs are required. NJSA 21:2-18, 19, 30, 35 and 21:1A-130 and 140

Air and marine terminals

No smoking in any facility, dock, ship, etc. owned or operated by the Port Authority where prohibited and posted. NJSA 32:1-146.4 and 5

Air and marine terminals

No smoking in any facility, dock, ship, etc. owned or operated by the Port Authority where prohibited and posted. NJSA 32:1-146.4 and 5

Other laws on tobacco

Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity and Firefighter Protection Act

Effective June 1, 2008, New Jersey requires a new cigarette fire safety standard to reduce the likelihood that cigarettes will cause fires and result in deaths, injuries and property damage. NJSA 54:40A-54 through 66

Highway littering

No person shall throw a cigarette or any substance likely to cause a fire from a vehicle on a highway. NJSA 39:4-64

School curriculum

All public schools shall provide instructional programs on tobacco in grades K through 12. NJSA 18A:40A-1 through 7

Tobacco products as prizes

It is prohibited for charitable games of chance to offer tobacco products as prizes. NJAC 13:47-6.19

Tobacco taxes

Cigarettes are taxed at $2.70 per package. Selling cigarettes without revenue stamps affixed to each package is prohibited. NJSA 54:40A-11 and 28

Other tobacco products are taxed at 30% of their wholesale price upon their sale, use or distribution within New Jersey. NJSA 54:40B-3

Revenue stamps: encrypted counterfeit-resistant revenue stamps for cigarettes sold in the State. NJSA 54:40A-11 et seq.

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Last update: 1/18/12