St. George Island beachgoers react to new Florida regulation permitting smoking ban

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – A brand new regulation in Florida goals to chop down on cigarette butts within the sand by permitting native governments to limit or ban smoking on public seashores.

In response to knowledge from the ocean conservancy, cigarette butts are the most typical piece of trash volunteers choose up on Florida seashores.

WCTV reporter Savannah Kelley acquired blended reactions when chatting with beachgoers on Tuesday.

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One girl was actually excited at the potential of a ban towards smoking on the seashore. On the flip aspect, one other girl, who’s a smoker, felt it was a restriction on her rights.

“We do not want litter on our beaches,” says Kara Mawdesly.

“It’s just nasty,” Jane Adkins says.

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Though Adkins agrees that seeing cigarette butts within the sand is gross, she believes the ban isn’t the reply.

“No, I think that’s not good,” she says.

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Adkins says she needs to be allowed to smoke on the seashore, so long as she throws her cigarettes within the trash, the place they belong.

“I just feel like if you’re gonna smoke, just be responsible with it,” Adkins says.

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The brand new regulation within the Sunshine State permits native governments to ban smoking on seashores completely. J.P. Brooker, the director of Florida Conservation on the Ocean Conservancy, says that is excellent news for the seashores’ well being.

“Basically what we need is for people to stop treating Florida beaches like their ashtrays,” Brooker says.

Information from the Ocean Conservancy discovered that on a single day of cleanup, volunteers picked up greater than 150,000 cigarette butts throughout the state.

However for some of us, it’s not nearly litter.

“If someone’s smoking near me, it affects me,” Mawdesley says.

Mawdesley has an autoimmune illness, and she or he says secondhand smoke impacts her severely. And on the seashore, the wind makes smoke journey even farther.

She says she’s in favor of banning smoking, not only for the setting, however for the well being of different beachgoers.

“It’s just hard. If someone’s smoking near me, I’m gonna have to pick up all my stuff and move,” Mawdesley says.

The regulation goes into impact on Friday, July 1, and native governments are free to enact their very own insurance policies from there.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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