MILFORD, CT (WFSB) — Beach season is almost here, and the state is looking to ban smoking and vaping at state park beaches.
The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday night, and now it heads to the House of Representatives.
If it passes it would go into effect later this summer, just in time for the July 4 holiday.
Included in the ban are cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and e-cigs and vape products.
Former smoker Gary Leone of Stratford said he’d be for the ban.
“A lot of people I know passed from smoking. My dad was a heavy smoker, everybody smoked back in the day, it was the thing to do, you smoked on an airplane, smoked in an office building, but bad habit. I think it’s a great idea,” Leone said.
The American Lung Association says more than 300 cities and towns across the country have implemented smoke free beaches, including a number in Connecticut.
As for states, Maine has already outlawed smoking at its state beaches.
Some feel the proposed law goes too far, and that they should be able to smoke outside.
But Mike Diamond, who was out for his morning walk at Silver Sands in Milford, said he supports the bill, saying some people treat the beach like their own personal ash tray.
“I can’t understand people, they foul their own environment between the cigarettes, the wrappers, everything else, why not pick up after yourself,” he said.
However, he said he wonders if a ban will make a difference.
“I think it’s a good idea, as I said, the problem is going to be enforcing it. There’re supposedly no dogs on the boardwalk, that’s not enforced. There’s supposed to be no bicycles on the boardwalk, that’s not enforced. I don’t know how they’re going to enforce the smoking,” Diamond added.
If it becomes law, the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection would post signs at beaches located within state parks.
First time violators would be issued a warning, followed by an infraction, which would be set by DEEP and payable by mail.
“Definitely should ban it, there’s no reason for it, it’s disgusting, leave a mess behind. There’s no need for it,” said Linda Biagoni, of Milford.
If the House passes the bill, and it’s signed by the governor, it would go into effect on July 1.
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