Push for smoking ban at Aquidneck beaches - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Push for smoking ban at Aquidneck beaches

Posted: Updated:
 Nicole Brazier

MIDDLETOWN - People remain divided on whether or not smoking should continue to be permitted on public beaches on Aquidneck Island.

The group Clean Ocean Access conducts weekly cleanup efforts there and has recently found record numbers of discarded cigarettes.

"So last summer we found 2,957 cigarettes at the beach after 15 1–hour cleanups. And as of this moment right now we've found more than 23 hundred cigarettes, but we still have 4 more cleanups to go," said Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Access..

And because of the negative health and environmental impacts the group wants changes.

"We'd like to see all the communities on Aquidneck Island enact a ban on smoking at all public beaches similar to that around schools, just back away from the beach and not have the ability to smoke on the beach or in the parking lots near the beach," said Drew Carey, President of the Board.

Bad news for those who come out to the waters to enjoy a relaxing day with some sun and a smoke.

"If anybody came to me and told me it bothered them I would move, but I don't think it's right for someone to come up and tell you to get off the beach because you want to have a cigar or people who smoke cigarettes," said Jeff Shoham, who was smoking a cigar at the beach this afternoon.

The aim to ban smoking has been in the works for several years. Clean Ocean Access hopes to have it in full swing by Memorial Day next year.

In order for the ban to go into effect, each individual city council on the island will have to pass an ordinance to make it official.

This fall, environmental groups will meet with local leaders, as well as the beach commission, to argue their case.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

Powered by WorldNow

10 Orms Street Providence, R.I. 02904

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WLNE.
All Rights Reserved.

For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.