- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A lawmaker has introduced a bill to ban smoking on public beaches in Rhode Island.

Sen. Erin Lynch says prohibiting smoking and the improper disposal of tobacco products on public beaches is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors.

Lynch says discarded cigarette butts, cigar butts and tobacco waste on beach sand is unsightly and unclean and can be particularly hazardous to children if they handle or ingest this material. She says the waste can also wash into the ocean and harm marine life.

The Democrat represents District 31 in Warwick and Cranston

The legislation was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would make smoking or disposing of smoking products illegal on or within 20 feet of all beaches under the state’s control.

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