A number of entities — states, parks and cities — have banned smoking on beaches in the U.S. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is primarily over the littering issues more than any secondhand smoke effects.
And as I said earlier, I have little or not sympathy for smokers on this issue, because if so many of them weren’t such litterbugs, then smoking wouldn’t be getting banned on so many beaches. You can say “a few bad apples,” but with the tons upon tons of cigarette butts having to be cleaned out of the beaches, it’s frankly more than a “few.”
Anyway, a surfing group in the UK is urging that country to consider a smoking ban on the beaches because of the cigarette butt problem. The group is called Surfers Against Sewage (I didn’t realize England had surfers!).
According to this story, SAS campaign director Andy Cummins says:
“A lot of people feel cigarette butts are made of cotton and its not really a big deal to thrown them away,” he said.
“But one cigarette butt can pollute between three to eight litres of water and they can take years to break down.
“If you have a ban people will understand that it is no longer socially acceptable to drop cigarette butts on a the beach.”
However, a spokeswoman for the Cornwall Council says a beach smoking ban would be difficult to enforce (that’s not so much an issue in the U.S., I would respond). The spokeswoman isn’t actually named in the article … I guess British websites don’t need to quote spokespersons by name:
However, she added smoking bans could be hard to enforce.
“Discarding litter undoubtedly has an adverse environmental effect as well as costing tax payers a significant amount of money each year to clean up.
“A smoking ban on beaches would be very difficult to enforce however, it is a criminal offence under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act to drop cigarette ends on the ground and not properly dispose of them in a bin.”