NJ GASP History Before the 2006 Smokefree Air Act

GASP has a rich history of supporting smokefree air legislation. NJ GASP was formed as a grassroots organization by people bothered by secondhand smoke during the 1970's. Information about the health consequences of secondhand smoke was just being made public. People were beginning to assert their right to breathe air free from cigarette smoke.

Our organization had the priviledge of both initiating and supporting projects and studies to increase awareness by New Jersey citizens and policy makers, culminating in the signing of the NJ SFAA in January, 2006. We continue to provide a valuable service as a technical resource on current tobacco control legislations and new policy initiatives. To read more about our rich history, visit the About Us section of our website. If you would like to discuss these historical projects with us, please call our office (908)273-9368.

Smokefree Air Everywhere was NJ GASP's book-length why and how manual for decision makers in NJ workplaces and public places. Published in 1997, it gave helpful instruction, strategies, and practical tips for the implementation of smokefree policies. For the next decade, this book served as a reference manual for both NJ business owners and individuals as more establishments went smokefree for their own and their workers health. Our public policy decision makers were made more aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke over the next decade and this book helped change attitudes towards secondhand smoke. It went from a nuisance to a health consequence, supporting those non-smokers who chose to exert their rights to breath healthy air free from tobacco by-products. This movement progressed to the passage of the 2006 NJ SFAA which took the decision to be smokefree out of the hands of owners and managers.

A statewide, scientific poll conducted in March 2000 known as the Eagleton Poll as well as other youth-led polls showed strong public support for smokefree workplaces and restaurants. Review the survey results.

Smokefree Dining Is Best was a single-sheet brochure created by GASP before the passage of the 2006 NJ SFAA, when restaurants and bars were smoking permitted but could voluntarily choose to go 100% smokefree. This brochure gave restaurant owners and managers a quick outline of the advantages of smokefree dining. You can see other information that GASP provided in support of smokefree dining from our historical webpages. We provided restaurant owners and patrons with the following information:

  • contents of Smokefree Dining is Best
  • success stories
  • marketing your restaurant
  • persuading a restaurant to go smokefree
  • dining legislation
  • Additionally, GASP promoted smokefree dining in New Jersey by maintaining a searchable database of smokefree dining establishments from 2003-2006. This web accessed database allowed for a search by location or restaurant name. GASP listed restaurants in a printed directory, 100% Smokefree Dining in New Jersey. This publication was distributed to consumers, restaurant reviewers, news media, legislators, and health organizations.

    NJ GASP initiated the Local Authority Resolution Project (LARP) in 2004 to protect New Jersey local governments from challenges to their authority when it came to protecting their constituents from secondhand smoke. Local NJ governing bodies and boards of health were uncertain as to the legality in 2000, since there was a lawsuit brought against Princeton for passing such a resolution. LARP was created to support legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg to restore local authority. GASP partnered with other organizations to track over 350 official resolutions from town councils, state and local organizations as proof of municipal demand.

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    Last update: 9/2/11