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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lawmaker considers ban on smoking at local beaches

The Portsmouth Herald reports on a Hampton lawmaker who wants to ban smoking on the beach in order to prevent cigarette butts in the sand.
State Rep. Susan Kepner, D-Hampton, told the town's Board of Selectmen this week she is thinking of submitting a bill in the coming legislative session that would ban smoking at state parks in New Hampshire. The bill would also outlaw smoking at playgrounds, concerts and other places where a significant amount of people congregate outdoors.

“I'm still trying to figure out the wording and exactly what it will entail,” Kepner said.
Discussion over Kepner's bill arose during a meeting between the town's local delegation and selectmen. The local delegation met with the board to ask which issues selectmen would like representatives to tackle in Concord in the upcoming legislative cycle.

Selectman Rick Griffin said his biggest pet peeve as of late has been the number of cigarette butts left at the beach.

“It's a huge problem and it's so offensive,” he said.

A recent cleanup of Hampton Beach by the Blue Ocean Society saw volunteers remove more than 20,000 cigarette butts.

Kepner said banning smoking in areas where people gather is one way to address this issue.

“If they can't light up, they can't leave it on the ground,” Kepner said.
I'm sure litter is also a problem at the beach. Perhaps we should close all the drive-throughs in Rockingham County. If they can't pick it up, they can't leave it on the ground. Or maybe just ban food and drink on the beach completely. If they can't bring it, they can't leave it on the ground.

Look, anyone who discards cigarette butts on the beach is an idiot. There's no excuse for littering. But the anti-smoking mafia is really getting out of hand. Besides, if people can't smoke anyway, how will we replace all those revenues from the cigarette tax?

1 comment:

  1. Here in San Diego all our parks and beaches have been smoke-free for three years and the improvement is very apparent. Not only is the beach cleaner but the City saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in cleaning costs.

    Smokers need to realize that public smoking is assaultive. They can do what they like in private but it is disgusting to discard wastes from your body where others have to see or smell the process.