Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Friday, July 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments
  • Print

Oregon poised to ban smoking on beaches

Smoking already banned at most other state parks; would diminish cigarette-butt litter on beaches and protect wildlife


Associated Press

advertising

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon is taking steps to ban smoking on all 362 miles of beaches along the Pacific coast.

The move this week by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department follows an earlier ban on smoking at most other state park properties.

It’s partly a response to concerns that the earlier smoking ban, enacted in February, will push more smokers onto the coastline, said Chris Havel, an agency spokesman. The ban would also reduce litter on beaches and ensure consistent rules throughout the state parks system, he said.

The agency is taking public comment on the proposal through Aug. 29 and will hold public meetings to discuss it in Seaside, Newport, Coos Bay and Salem.

Smokers could face a $110 fine, although the agency says it prefers to educate visitors and only issues citations to the most egregious repeat offenders.

Oregon has about 548 park rangers — about two-thirds of them seasonal — who enforce the rules along the coast and in 224 state parks.

Under the rules enacted earlier this year, smoking is banned on state park property except in a vehicle or campsite, or portions of day-use parks that are designated as safety rest areas.

Rangers have started asking smokers to extinguish cigarettes, but nobody will be ticketed before next year, Havel said.

Gov. John Kitzhaber, a physician, signed an executive order in 2012 ordering state agencies to look at ways to restrict smoking on public property. Smoking outside state buildings has also been banned.

Under a 1967 Oregon law, the state controls the entire coast up to the line of vegetation, and the public has free access.

Cigarette butts are the top trash item collected on Oregon beaches by SOLVE, a nonprofit organization that stages two annual coastal cleanups, said Maureen Fisher, executive director.

“Most of the debris picked up by the volunteers consists of either small plastic items or cigarette butts, which both harm marine life in various ways,” Fisher said.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Travel & Outdoors

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►