Restricted smoking on the beach? Send us your public comment on proposed rules (2014)

Tseriadun State Recreation Site

Tseriadun State Recreation Site on the south coast near Port Orford.

We’re accepting public comment on proposed rules that would restrict smoking of tobacco products on the Ocean Shore Recreation Area.

Public comment will play a key role in the decision to create a rule. Comments can be sent to the department through August 29, 2014, by regular mail (OPRD Beach Smoking, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301), by e-mail, or in person at one of four public hearings scheduled in August. All hearings begin at 7 p.m. at the locations listed below.

  • 8/20/2014 – Seaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway, Seaside, Ore.
  • 8/21/2014 – Central Lincoln PUD, 2129 N Coast Highway, Newport, Ore.
  • 8/26/2014 – Coos Bay Public Library, 525 Anderson Ave, Coos Bay, Ore.
  • 8/28/2014 – North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street NE, Salem, Ore.

Rules that restrict smoking on Oregon state park properties were approved in February by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. Education about the new rule is taking place through 2014, and enforcement will begin in 2015. Previous public comments related to the state park rule asked the department to undertake a similar effort on the ocean shore, which is adjacent to many state parks. Citing environmental issues as a primary concern—plastic cigarette butts can persist for years, even in the harsh beach environment—the commission approved a staff request to consider a smoking rule for the ocean shore.

After listening to public comment between now and August 29, the department plans to present information to the Commission on Sept. 17 at its meeting near Silverton, and return Nov. 19 with a final recommendation at the Astoria meeting.

Note: We welcome your thoughts via the commenting section of this story, although they’re not considered for entry into the rulemaking record.  If you have a question about a fact, piece of background, or procedure, we can probably answer those easily enough. Otherwise, you could direct your messages (things like the enforceability of this idea, whether or not you think it’s useful, whatever you want) to so we get them on the record.

Posted on July 28, 2014, in state parks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. No and again NO! I do not approve of restricting smoking on public beaches. The air is fresh and easily blows the smoke away. This idea is too restrictive.

  2. friendsofthedredge

    Smoking is not allowed in our state park….and it shows! Good idea all around!

  3. So you are wanting to restrict an area to specific people who smoke? Do their taxes pay for the privilege of being on the beaches? How about all the people who leave trash all over? Maybe you should restrict the picnic goers as well and how about the dogs who leave messes? By the way I do not smoke, so wouldn’t hurt me any, but it could certainly cut down on the tourist impact in our state.

  4. No, restricting smoking on public beaches, that is going way to far. what on earth will be next?

  5. Smokers have felt free to litter our beautiful beaches, leaving behind cigarette butts that are dangerous for animals both in and out of the water. The litter is dangerous and unsightly and should be against the law. No smoking in these areas is the only answer since smokers refuse to look at leaving their butts on our shores as litter. Smoke in their cars, not on our beaches.

  6. This is a great example of “feel good” laws that will not actually work. Isn’t littering on the beach already illegal?

  7. I hate those butts anywhere. I see people walk right past a trash can and throw the nasty things on the ground. If we all took responsibility for the mark we are leaving on the earth it would be a better place. Unfortunately most people do not. I am not sure another law is what is needed,how about a law about leaving your dogs waste on the beach or in someones yard. How about signs and designated smoking area’s?

  8. Re: comments from Debbie: shouldn’t we enforce no littering and catch ALL who litter and not simply those who are smokers? Are we not segregating those and discriminating? BTW – I am not a smoker.

  9. No, fine people that litter instead and use money to improve parks!

  10. public floggings used to work wonders..

  11. Portland Beach User

    I like the idea of not having smoke blowing in my face when I’m at the beach. The beach is open to everone but if you want to smoke there’s a special spot for that activity. Not terrible right?

    • You know, I take great pains to try and stay downwind of anyone while I smoke. I I want to smoke…there’s a special place for it? Just exactly where might that be? Basically, you seem to be saying “go ahead and smoke…just not where I am?’

      Makes me wonder why I served in the Armed Forces…..

  12. I so not think the restriction will work and cannot be enforced. Avoiding smoke on beach is easily done. Relatively other litter on beach and use of alcohol and drugs on beach are greater issues and are not enforced. We have many other issues to deal with and wasting time and resources on ;this law is inane.

  13. No matter how you cut it, the butts on the beach are foul and disgusting. I for one think its high time the beaches should be smoke free.

  14. Maybe run a trial with specific beach areas designated non-smoking, such as ones most used by beach-goers, like Cannon Beach or Lincoln City beaches.
    (Similar to trials allowing pets in certain yurts in the state parks…)

  15. I agree. Smoking is bad for your health anyway. Let’s not allow it on public beaches.

  16. harleyrider1978

    If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing.

    here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them:

    Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde.

    Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic

    Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes

    Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes

    When you drink your 8 glasses of tap water (64 ounces) a day, you’re safely drinking up to 18,000 ng of arsenic by government safety standards of 10 nanograms/gram (10 ng/gm = 18,000ng/64oz) for daily consumption.

    Am I “poisoning” you with the arsenic from my cigarette smoke? Actually, with the average cigarette putting out 32 ng of arsenic into the air which is then diluted by normal room ventilation for an individual exposure of .032 ng/hour, you would have to hang out in a smoky bar for literally 660,000 hours every day (yeah, a bit hard, right?) to get the same dose of arsenic that the government tells you is safe to drink.

    So you can see why claims that smokers are “poisoning” people are simply silly.

    You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000-7000 theorized chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth.

  17. I agree it’s a feel good law. Our beaches are not crowded – move to another spot. There are butts that litter the beach, as well as piles of “natural” dog poop from all sizes. We’d have to require all beachgoers to attend “human politeness” classes. That seems to be where they are all lacking – basic consideration of others rather than “it’s my right” attitude. Just be courteous folks or tell us where you live so we can return your poop and butts to you.

  18. I am not a smoker nor do I think that smoking is smart or appropriate in all places. That said, I think trying to restrict this is such a public place is just plain ridiculous!! What’s next, no drinking wine, no chocolate bars or sodas. It might be nice if some attention was paid to the butt problem that encourages an awareness of the tobacco and it’s effecton wildlife, but other that that I think this is a royal waste of time and money.

  19. More laws that are not enforceable is a joke and waist of $$. There are much more important issues to address than another stupid idea like this. Let people police themselves by respecting others accordingly.

  20. Even if it is not enforceable 100% — there are hardly enough Rangers — it does say to people this is one more place you can’t ruin other people’s experience, so it is a tool they can use. And maybe it will cut the littering. People who smoke on the beach leave their cigarette butts there 100% of the time

  21. No smoking on the beach. Simple. thanks. m bradley

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