- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) - Middletown is considering a smoking ban at all public beaches, parks and recreational spaces in town.

The town council on Monday voted unanimously to hold a public hearing June 1 to get input on the proposal, suggested by President Robert Sylvia.

Sylvia tells the Newport Daily News that in addition to health benefits, there are quality of life and environmental factors to consider for supporting the ban. The proposal also applies to electronic cigarettes.

Middletown Beach Commission Chairman Rian Wilkinson says secondhand smoke might cause some beach-goers to leave and never come back.

Clean Ocean Access, an environmental nonprofit, says waste from cigarettes is easily the most prevalent form of garbage picked up during its regular cleanups of beach areas.

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Information from: The Newport Daily News.

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