New law allows local governments to ban smoking on beaches – CBS Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A bill giving local governments the power to ban smoking on beaches became law Friday.

Before the new law, cities could only enforce beach litter. Now they can designate smoking zones and fine people for throwing cigarette butts in the sand.

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“If people just put their butts where they belong, we’d be in a happier and cleaner world,” said Pat DePlasco with Keep Pinellas Beautiful.

DePlasco with Keep Pinellas Beautiful is talking about this one: cigarette butts.

“It’s very frustrating, it’s very frustrating. If you look at the beaches, if you look around you, you see trash cans,” DePlasco says.

She says her organization cleans up hundreds of cigarette butts from Madeira and surrounding beaches every other week.

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“Cigarette butts are number one in the world,” says DePlasco.

But sometimes she has a hard time picking them all up.

“Often they’re missed because they’re so small, so they go under the top layers of sand, and when the first tide or storm comes, they’re washed away into the water,” DePlasco said.

She says that seagulls and fish eventually eat the pieces.

“The carcinogens that are collected there, they are all collected in large quantities, so it should protect it from entering the human body, so what does it do? It stays right there. Can you imagine what it does to a small sea creature?” said DePsco.

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“It’s not 1982 anymore, we can’t just. Everything was just under smoke. Nowadays it’s nice to get out and smell the air. Smoking is decreasing, so I don’t see why there shouldn’t be small areas where people can smoke,” said Regan Pisarski, a beach visitor.

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