Son of a Beach

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The southern California town of Solana Beach has outlawed smoking on its 1.4 miles of sand and surf, reports the AP.

The ban, which follows similar laws in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, is a logical, if disheartening extension of the anti-smoking crusade. What's most interesting about it is its backers:

The ban in the northern San Diego County town of 13,000 people was prompted by a group of high school students, who first asked the city to declare September a nonsmoking month on the beaches and in parks, then pushed for a permanent ban.

High schoolers calling for an end of vice? In what may end up being a weird version of the '60s generation-gap flick Wild in the Streets, the young leaders of tomorrow may well be harrumphing puritans hell-bent on bringing boozing, smoking, drugging middle-agers to heel.

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  1. drunk driving deaths dropped dramatically in the years following the enactment of stricter laws.

    Against which, drinking, or driving while drinking? Tougher laws were passed against the actual problem.

    if you don’t like the live bombs I’ve been leaving around your neighborhood

    You haven’t been leaving live bombs in my neighborhood. That having been said, a bomb has a real and tangible potential to cause immediate death and property destruction. The link between casual exposure to second-hand smoke even on a consistent basis and heart/lung cancer is yet pseudoscientific and contrived.

  2. I think I got over automatically siding with anything that bothered people when I was about 19. And I was slow.

    Be that as it may, you need to grow up some more–not everything is going to go your way, no matter how often you stamp your feet and howl.

  3. I agree that the second hand smoke argument has been overstated, though your sweeping dismissal of any health problems is similarly overstated. The problem I’m addressing is about littering, and the hazards of nicotine-soaked butts to young children, which has not been exaggerated.

    Similarly, my earlier comment about “living like a pig” referred not to smoking, but to dropping butts all over the place. Sorry about the confusion.

  4. “Be that as it may, you need to grow up some more–not everything is going to go your way, no matter how often you stamp your feet and howl,” said the Pot to the Kettle.

  5. But Joe, if deaths from drunken driving dropped in response to stricter laws against drunken driving, doesn’t it follow that stricter laws against littering could be effective too?

  6. Citizen,

    Yeah–touche 🙂

  7. “I think I got over automatically siding with anything that bothered people when I was about 19. And I was slow.”

    That’s funny, Joe. Some of us get over the desire to ban anything that bothers us at about the same age.

  8. By cracky, this is what’ll happens if we keep coddling those kids; they’ll take over the country is what they’ll do, by jiminy!

  9. The problem I’m addressing is about littering,

    Again, easily addressed with tougher littering laws. As drunk driving was more addressed with tougher drunk driving laws.

    and the hazards of nicotine-soaked butts to young children, which has not been exaggerated.

    Many things are also dangers to young children. Only the very youngest – younger than toddlers even – would be yet dumb enough to ingest two cigarette butts. So young would they be in fact that it begs the question as to whether they would even be able to do so. What is the actual iminent danger of this issue?

    Similarly, my earlier comment about “living like a pig” referred not to smoking, but to dropping butts all over the place.

    Living like a pig is not something restricted to smokers who drop their cigarette butts everywhere. Cars and non-converted ACs are more hazardous to the environment than a few butts that eventually break down anyway.

  10. Steve,

    The ability to distinguish between something that “bothers” people and something that “harms” or “endangers” them is a pretty important step in intellectual development. Let me know how that goes.

    That said, yes, it bothers me when a 14 month old ends up in the hospital because some asshole thinks the world is his ashtray.

  11. The ability to distinguish between something that “bothers” people and something that “harms” or “endangers” them is a pretty important step in intellectual development.

    The extent to which you are harmed or endangered by cigarette smoke is scientifically inconclusive. The occurrence of children being harmed by eating cigarette butts, if it even occurs at all and is not a machination of the anti-smoking camp, is too rare to be of significance in forming sound public policy.

  12. Joe–

    Actually, I think you *have* overstated the problem of “the hazards of nicotine-soaked butts to young children”…I just spent about 20 minutes on Pubmed looking up reports of death from cigarette/cigartte butt ingestion in small children, and have found several studies of poisonings, but not one report of a fatality. This isn’t to say that it hasn’t happened or can’t happen, but if it’s really a problem warranting the intrusive legal solution you advocate, I would expect to find fatalities relatively easily.

    The LD50 (dose that is lethal 50% of the time) for nicotine in rats is about 55 mg/kg when adminsitered orally. The LD50 in humans is not known exactly (finding such things rigorously is a bit of an ethical problem), and it is almost certainly lower than rats, but it isn’t going to be that much lower. Let’s say that it’s 10 times less (a generous estimate), or 5 mg/kg.

    The average modern cigarette contains about 1 mg of nicotine. A 15-lb (6.8-kg) baby would have to eat 34 unsmoked cigarettes to reach the estimated LD50.

    However, if you can reference your claim, I’m all ears.

    BTW…nicotine gum in the house would be much more dangerous to children than butts on a beach.

  13. Cigarette butts (most major brands, anyway) are not biodegradable, and last a long time. I think their visual similarity to cotton makes people think they are less long lasting than they are.

    As for the comparisons to drunk driving and littering laws, a wise man once said that our laws need to reflect the reality of how people behave and feel in our culture. Most people who drink alcohol do not become intoxicated then drive a car. Most people eating outdoors do not throw their junk on the ground. But a very large majority of smokers throw their butts around, even (as an above commenter wrote) those who do not otherwise litter.

    I drink my share of beers, but I have no objection to the “no bottles on the beach” laws.

  14. “intrusive legal solution?” No one’s talking about a universal ban, banning smoking in cars, or anything of the sort. Don’t bring hazardous material to a place where children play, because experience has shown that it ends up being left all over place, and it can harm little ones. That’s a pretty reasonable balance, if you ask me.

  15. a wise man once said that our laws need to reflect the reality of how people behave and feel in our culture

    And how does this “wise man”‘s interpretation support the notion that cigarettes should be illegal in public, outdoor places? You have no basis even for conjecture as to how people behave and feel as a whole; the nation is too divided on this issue. The problem for you is littering, not smoking…fine. The impact of that litter is what must dictate policy, not what people feel about it. That litter does not present any more gross hardship on the environment than any other form of litter. It is merely something you don’t enjoy seeing.

  16. Don’t bring hazardous material to a place where children play, because experience has shown that it ends up being left all over place, and it can harm little ones.

    Its true impact on “little” ones is wholly indeterminate, and in this case perhaps a fradulent non-issue designed to present some compelling counterargument where others have proven flaccid. Your assertion that two cigarette butts can kill a 15-pound baby has been challenged on two fronts, one, that 32 or so are actually required, and two, that a 15-pound baby (< 3 months?) would never be able to position themselves to ingest two cigarette butts, unless they were physically handed them. The end result is that they are under near-0 risk of exposure and your assertion remains unfounded. Why again shouldn’t we be able to smoke on a public beach?

  17. “That litter does not present any more gross hardship on the environment than any other form of litter. It is merely something you don’t enjoy seeing.” Actually, cigarette butts are less visible than other forms of litter. The distinction is not their appearance, but the safety issues associated with them.

    The refutations are nothing of the sort; my daughter was both crawling and putting things in her mouth at 15 pounds. And, if you replace “kill” with “poison” or “sicken,” my point is still valid. So yes, having cigarette butss scattered about poses a danger to infants, sufficient to require their hospitalization.

    “Why again shouldn’t we be able to smoke on a public beach?” Because anti-litter laws have proven insufficient for keeping butts off the beach. Because cigarette butts are a lot more likely to be littered about than other materials, as smokers themselves admit. Because cigarette butts pose greater hazards than other forms of litter (except maybe broken glass, which is the motivation for anti-bottle rules). And because the public, who own the beach, have decided to make this a condition of its use.

  18. “near-zero risk of exposure” How near zero?

    If you make an argument about liberty, in principle, I’ll make one about property owners being able to set conditions on the use of their land. Ultimately, the question is one of cost/benefit analysis. I’ve laid out some of the benefits (leaving out all aesthetic and environmental/health impacts of the smoke itself). What are the costs?

  19. I’m an avid non-smoker absolutely opposed to NY-style smoking bans for private establishments, but you no more have a “right” to smoke on a public beach than you do to walk around it naked.

    Come the revolution, of course, all property will be private and each owner will be permitted to enact his own use rules for his particular stretch of coastline, but for now, too bad.

  20. Joe–

    Fer chrissake, just admit that you don’t like cigarettes and you believe that the government should enforce your pet peeves.

    Laws don’t change people’s behavior…enforcement of laws does. Littering laws are not insufficient for keeping butts off the beach, the enforcement of littering laws isn’t sufficient. There is no logical reason to single out cigarettes, despite your attempts to produce them. What is wrong with the approach of more agressively prosecuting littering in general (something that I doubt many people would have a problem with?)

  21. Because anti-litter laws have proven insufficient for keeping butts off the beach.

    Anti-litter laws have proven ineffective in keeping all forms of little off beaches. Not just cigarette butts.

    Because cigarette butts are a lot more likely to be littered about than other materials, as smokers themselves admit.

    Not entirely relevant, it more or less goes to your previous point, which is only supported if you ignore the fact that anti-litter laws don’t really stop much litter at all.

    Because cigarette butts pose greater hazards than other forms of litter (except maybe broken glass, which is the motivation for anti-bottle rules).

    Again, there are no hazards. You talk about hazards to kids, but that supposition has been challenged considerably, to no answer from you.

    my daughter was both crawling and putting things in her mouth at 15 pounds.

    The question was not who, or what end result (kill, poison, injure), but to what extent among a sample space… How many? I acknowledge your daughter, but I also acknowledge your responsibility to keep terratogens out of her mouth. The well-being of one child is not compelling enough reason to set policy. Your testimony is all that is offered to support the notion that cigarette butts are a general hazard to the public. It is not supported scientifically, either by the dosage limits as stated herein, or by another parent who supports my view that it is a reasonable expectation that you catch your daughter before she swallowed the first butt, let alone the second (or 32nd) required to ostensibly have killed her.

    And because the public, who own the beach, have decided to make this a condition of its use.

    Not the public. A vocal enough minority amongst 13,000 to convince five councilmembers to pass the law. It was not referendum, and as such is not the choice of the people, rather the choice of the proxy.

  22. Anti-litter laws also have a difficult time keeping beer bottles, old newspapers, soda cans, candy bar wrappers, used condoms, paper cups, half-eaten hot dogs, lost frisbees, and flotsam off the beach.

  23. “Fer chrissake, just admit that you don’t like cigarettes and you believe that the government should enforce your pet peeves.”

    But that’s not how I feel. I have no objection to people smoking, even in public places. I’m wishy-washy on smoking bans in restaurants. I just think there are particular reasons why cigarette butts are especially hamful in areas where children play. As far as pet peeves go, I’d put German men in speedos a lot higher than cigarette smoking, and I don’t support banning them from public beaches.

    rst, cigarette litter is clearly more prevalent than other forms of litter. Look at a sidewalk for chrissakes. But, for making the point that anti-litter laws aren’t a sufficient strategy for keeping butts off the beach, I thank you.

    The “considerable challenge” to my assertion that cigarett butts are dangerous to young children comes in the form of demonstrating that the nicotine in a butt can sicken a toddler enough to require hospital treatment. Gee, my face sure is red. I think I’ll start sprinkling them on my salad.

    “I also acknowledge your responsibility to keep terratogens out of her mouth.” And I acknowledge your responsibility not to leave dangerous items where they can hurt people.

    And you finish by asserting that elected representatives do not have the right to act in the name of the people. Well, we’ll see next time the council comes up for election. Ain’t democracy grand?

  24. Ain’t democracy grand?

    Were this a democracy, it might be grander. You elect people to act in your stead, and proceed under the illusion that other than the second amendment there exists some system of checks and balances that empowers the voter towards any manner of self-determination. This is a republic.

    leave dangerous items

    You still have not demonstrated how it is dangerous, merely distasteful and irresponsible. I’m sorry your daughter obviously got sick, but that is not sufficient to set sound public policy, rather trifles of legislative nonsense designed to pacify concerned parents.

    But, for making the point that anti-litter laws aren’t a sufficient strategy for keeping butts off the beach, I thank you.

    There is no sufficient strategy to keep butts off the beach. Go check up on that beach in a year, maybe two. See how much the anti-smoking law, that cops will be reticent to enforce, and few will be compelled to obey, will have fixed the beach.

  25. So you’re reduced to arguing that 1) cigarette butts don’t make children sick, despite the fact that the Brian Hawkins post you refer to states that they do. 2) anti-smoking laws don’t stop people from smoking in the restricted area, despite the fact that restaurants are now noticeably free of smoke. The laws don’t stop people from smoking, but they do oppress people by stopping them from smoking.

    OK.

  26. Applying this logic of smokers as dirty, stupid people to Mr. Joseph’s delimma in a different thread would lead a casual observer to think he was a dumb, shiftless SOB.

    That is until they got his DNA profile and realized he was one of those White Bastards Who Run Everything.

  27. 1) cigarette butts don’t make children sick, despite the fact that the Brian Hawkins post you refer to states that they do.

    Not that they won’t make children sick, but that there is no significant injury incurred on any level significant enough to support public policy. Thousands, if not millions, of things make children sick. Alcohol can kill them. Alcohol is still legal, and often well within the reach of resourceful young children.

    anti-smoking laws don’t stop people from smoking in the restricted area, despite the fact that restaurants are now noticeably free of smoke.

    An enclosed restaurant is not a large, outdoor public beach where one can easily and instantly 1. identify approaching law enforcement and 2. toss away a cigarette and deny that they were smoking.

    The laws don’t stop people from smoking, but they do oppress people by stopping them from smoking.

    Oppression? Did I say it was oppressive? I for one support the ban on smoking in restaurants (but not in bars). This specifically is just wasteful feel-good policy, and yet another excuse to throw pseudoscientific bullshit into the formation of said policy, which in turn gives credence in the eyes of the oft-misled public not only to the policy itself, but to the pseudoscientific bullshit upon which it is founded as well (“if they passed a law it must be true…right?).

  28. Good. No butts in the sand.

  29. Not so fast Nick. I think what we’re seeing here is merely the end of “smoking” as the chic vice for a vocal minority (or perhaps another passing “teen responsibility” fad). As is often the case, people are enticed by the psuedoscience behind smoking research, and the knee-jerk reaction is reasonable given that some will be dumb enough to buy into it because cancer is scary and second hand smoke smells bad.

    Prohibiting smoking on a beach is ridiculous. You’ll be exposed to a plethora of carcinogens from the time you walk through the car-exhaust-filled parking lot, to the 90 minutes you lay baking in the UV rays of the sun, and then on to the saccharin-and-phenylalanine-filled low-cal low-fat treats you’ll suck down at the juice bar. Like banning cigarettes will save your skinny wrinkled hides? Please.

  30. Today’s youths have grown up in largely smoke free environments and are thus able to discern something that many older people are unaware of: Smoking smells incredibly foul. Oddly, many folks of my generation and older don’t seem to appreciate the ghastly lingering clouds that hang around smokers and everything they wear, own, or touch. Some folks of my age can even walk past a smoker without breaking into asthmatic coughing.

    This is by and large not the case with the younger generations, whose lungs have not been hardened by breathing heavy hydrocarbons laced with nasty little volatiles and carbon monoxide. So to them, smoking really is the equivalent of setting of a small chemical weapon, and the popular fad of smoking outdoors is setting off the same chemical weapon in public rather than private.

    I don’t like their regulatory zeal, but I can hardly blame it. It will take years before they have to market power to end smoking by refusing to do business with people who smell like refuse heaps, and American youth are by nature impatient.
    –G

  31. I agree with Nick that the zeal is unfounded and that youth movements to ban “vices” are scary.
    I will say, though, that the smokers on the beach would get a lot more support if butts weren’t the number one litter item in the sand. Fucking gross!

  32. “Smoking through a filter is like sucking tit through a sweater.”

    Save the beaches. Go buttless.

  33. …whose lungs have not been hardened by breathing heavy hydrocarbons laced with nasty little volatiles and carbon monoxide.

    Heh, check your air quality. You’d be surprised what you’re breathing in. Especially when you’re indoors.

    …smoking really is the equivalent of setting of a small chemical weapon, and the popular fad of smoking outdoors is setting off the same chemical weapon in public rather than private.

    and it’s exactly this kind of thinking — devoid of rational basis — that leads to all manner of anti-smoking paranoia. Smoking is not the equivalent of a chemical weapon any more than the cyanide in the seeds of an apple makes an apple tree a chemical weapons factory.

    Just like drugs, carbohydrates, and spanking your ill-behaved bastard children, there are some activities that people have difficulties dealing with. Should the rest of us, perfectly content to smoke cigarettes (or do drugs, eat carbs, and spank our ill-behaved bastard children), give a flying rat’s ass about their problems? I don’t see why. So far the evidence that second-hand smoke has had even a marginal impact on the health of the nation is squarely in the pseudoscience category.

  34. Who can refuse? The kids are just doing it for….well, the kids.

  35. Banning smoking outside is clearly a suspicious use of government. But I agree with erf that I would be a lot more sympathetic towards smokers if they were not such continuous litterers. It is much easier to ban smoking than to arrest/fine for butt littering. That is similar to DUI laws that use blood alcohol as an inexact proxy for dangerous driving. Not all high blood alcohol people are bad drivers and not all smokers litter, but the exceptions are few from my observations.

  36. phil:

    Agreed 100%.

    I am against smoking bans, but when I walk down the sidewalk and see butts all over the place, I start to feel like I am against smokers, too.

    I wouldn’t want to walk down the beach, barefoot, and tromp over cigarette butts. Sometimes, when there are competing interests, it is appropriate to weigh those against one another to determine the best course of action.

  37. Yes, phil, but what about smokers littering is any worse than drivers and pedestrians doing exactly the same thing? It sounds like people are grasping at straws, blasting smokers for those little butts while their own trash blows freely across the neighborhood.

  38. rst, there is enough nicotine in a cigarette butt to kill a 15 pound baby who eats one or two.

    I think I got over automatically siding with anything that bothered people when I was about 19. And I was slow.

  39. What’s worse about smokers littering? Primarily that they (as a group) seem to behave as though their litter, well, isn’t. Have you seen places set up for smokers with ashtrays and butts littering the ground around them? In NY, where it’s pretty much illegal to smoke indoors anywhere at this point, you can see that outside an awful lot of buildings. Similarly with smokers tossing their butts out of car windows. I hardly ever see anyone tossing random litter out of their cars on the highways, but I see smokers do it daily.

    I don’t see this particular case as a pollution or health issue, but as a cleanliness of public facilities issue. People are sick of walking on cigarette butts.

  40. rst, there is enough nicotine in a cigarette butt to kill a 15 pound baby who eats one or two.

    Which is why it’s a good idea not to let babies eat cigarettes.

    I think I got over automatically siding with anything that bothered people when I was about 19. And I was slow.

    I think that was a veiled ad hominem attack. I am a smoker, joe. Whether it bothers you or not is irrelevant.

  41. that they (as a group) seem to behave as though their litter, well, isn’t.

    So it is with everyone who litters. If they had the concept of it being litter, and a conscience about it, they wouldn’t litter in the first place. Like I said, this is a character flaw that smokers share with everybody.

  42. I’m a smoker and I admit that although I would never unwrap a fresh pack and throw the plastic and foil on the ground, the tops of those twenty little coffin nails inside are all headed for the ground. Hypocritical but true.

  43. communities can and do ban glass bottles from beaches as a safety hazard due to after effects of litter… banning smoking for this reason is legitimate…

    while its unlikely that they banned it for this reason, and instead just did it for the anti-smoking aspect, this ban is less egregious than bans on smoking in privaet establishments

  44. rst, there is enough nicotine in a cigarette butt to kill a 15 pound baby who eats one or two.

    Which is why it’s a good idea not to let babies eat cigarettes

    And which is why it’s also a good idea to keep cigarette butts away from babies.

  45. that they (as a group) seem to behave as though their litter, well, isn’t.

    So it is with everyone who litters. If they had the concept of it being litter, and a conscience about it, they wouldn’t litter in the first place. Like I said, this is a character flaw that smokers share with everybody.

    Right. Which is why I followed that comment with observations that smokers seem to me (based on personal observation) seem to be a lot more likely to be litterers than other people. I have a hard time remembering the last time I saw someone throwing random litter out of their car window, but I see people throwing butts out their windows daily. I never see dozens of candy bar wrappers near outdoor wastebaskets, but ashtrays surrounded by butts that were not just dropped, but dropped and ground into the pavement are common.

  46. And which is why it’s also a good idea to keep cigarette butts away from babies.

    Yes, as is the case with cleaning solvents, uncovered electrical outlets, rabid pitbulls, plastic bags, very small toys, deep water, alcohol, solid foods, honey, sharp objects, and some Catholic priests. What’s yer point?

  47. rst: only a complete moron would discsard a catholic priest on a beach. why are you trying so hard to be obtuse?

  48. Which is why I followed that comment with observations that smokers seem to me (based on personal observation) seem to be a lot more likely to be litterers than other people.

    And therein lay the crux: if littering is the problem, then why not make a more severe penalty for littering?

  49. The bike and hike trails I’ve been on are littered with GU packs. In some parks, you can easily follow trails that have been “closed” for years by using the Gu packets as breadcrumbs. It seems entirely possible that a 15-pound baby who was crawling through the woods looking for butts to munch could choke on the chocolately goodness of a Gu pack.

  50. rst: only a complete moron would discsard a catholic priest on a beach. why are you trying so hard to be obtuse?

    There are plenty of things one must protect their baby from. It’s a fact of life. Like every other parent who’s ever raised a child, sometimes you need to make sure that they don’t have any foreign objects in their mouths. It’s not new, and it’s very easy to do.

  51. “And therein lay the crux: if littering is the problem, then why not make a more severe penalty for littering?”

    Litter laws have proven to be ineffective in keeping cigarette butts from piling up in public places. So a solution that addresses the cause of the littering is needed.

  52. No, rst, it’s not my responsibility to absorb your externalities. If you live like a pig, you’re going to end up in a pen.

  53. If you live like a pig, you’re going to end up in a pen.

    Smoking is not the litmus test for one’s lifestyle, regardless of your opinion on it.

    Litter laws have proven to be ineffective in keeping cigarette butts from piling up in public places.

    Drunk driving laws have proven to be ineffective in keeping drunk drivers and their victims from piling up on public highways. So a solution that addresses the cause of the drunk driving is needed…?

  54. It’s quite possible that these teenagers were motivated by something in their school, i.e., a political participation class giving credit for proposing legislation, which may have even been thought up by the teacher

  55. Any parent who has a fifteen pounder and leaves her alone on the beach long enough and unobserved enough to eat a butt is negligent or abusive. I have a 15 pounder, she’s three months and is starting to be able to move things to her mouth. Unless someone puts a cigarette butt in a 15-pounder’s hands, she’ll never get it to her mouth, and even if she does I doubt she’s ever be able to swallow it. She’d probably spit it out right away because it tastes bad and is covered with sand.

    All that and a 15-pounder won’t be crawling.

    Now a 15-monther, maybe…

  56. Christ, I’m starting to like the anarchist idea better and better after reading this thread.

    Let this hyper-urbane country collapse–completely–and we’ll see how many of these little darlings (the schools kids with an ax to grind) could survive.

    This hermit’s going back to his cave 🙂

  57. Actually, drunk driving deaths dropped dramatically in the years following the enactment of stricter laws. Now, how much of this was due to greater enforcement, and how much from cultural changes, is up for debate.

    Anyway, rst, if you don’t like the live bombs I’ve been leaving around your neighborhood, you should take some personal responsibility and disarm them, instead of pushing your oppressive anti-bomb laws and interfering with my lifestyle.

  58. “What are you rebelling against?”

    “Whattya got?”

    “Um, how about smoking on beaches?”

    “Cool, let’s ban it.”

  59. I don’t smoke.

    However, I do litter constantly. Especially food wrapers. As a college student, on the run constantly, I either have fast food, or packaged food (Pop Tarts!), which I constantly toss the trash thereof on the ground.

    So, less smokers… more trash? Great argument. If you don’t like trash, enforce the trash laws (I’ve never known anyone to get the $500 fine for leaving a Pop Tart wrapper on the ground/street). If you just don’t like smoking, admit it.

    -Robert

  60. I smoke on occasion.

    Wah wah wah waaahhhhhhhhh.

  61. I’m amazed at the dawning debate about people who smoke vs. those who don’t. It’s quite simple… if the majority of the country does not smoke, and supports smoke-free “outdoor” environments… then guess what? That’s right, the poison puffing public will have to resist the temptation of smoking while they go to the beach, or a restaurant, a bar, work, a pier, a park, amusement parks, stadiums, theatres, and any other outdoor venue. Vote… and just deal with it. Besides, look at the phenomenon of how smokers’ don’t use the ashtrays in their cars… and we’re supposed to trust them on the beach. It’s already been stated that tobacco litter is the number one source of litter around the world. And while I’m here, secondhand smoke just doesn’t smell bad… it severely effects almost 20% of our population… that’s more than the population of smokers. All of you smoker’s talk about smokers’ rights… well, what about nonsmokers’ rights? There are more of us, and we don’t like your dangerous habit. It affects our safety, our health, our environment, and our never-ending struggle to breath clean air. So now you’re going to say that we breath in horrible toxins anyway, well that’s true, and their are groups and individuals working towards improving our air quality on all fronts. This is an important step that needs to be taken… and I’m sorry if you depend on a cigarette as a crutch. Really, what will happen to you if you just wait until you’re in your own personal space to smoke, and of course dispose of your butt in an appropriate place? Will you go insane? Is it really too much to ask of you? How much will it actually take out of you? The effort you put into complaining about something that will help you and your environment can be put towards resisting temptation.

    If you support smoke-free beaches and piers… sign our online petition!

    http://www.petitiononline.com/COAST

  62. Most of your commnets are just ridiculous and unfounded. The crux of the situation is that smoking has no redeeming qualities and littering of cig. butts is a disgusting piggish behavior that should be dealt with severely….like maybe setting up snipers on the beaches. I go to the beach at least once a week and would volenteer for sniper duty straight away.

    rst….you are a joke…and need a better thesaurus

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