Smoke-Free Beaches and Parks
Puff, puff, puff that cigarette away from Maine beaches and public parks was the message delivered by the 124th Legislature, which this week gave support of a measure to ban smoking on Maine’s public beaches and in state parks. Awaiting Governor John Baldacci’s signature as an emergency preamble, SP 26, LD 67 states a person may not smoke tobacco — or any other substance — on a public beach or in a public park, or within 20 feet of public beaches and parks. The bill goes on to define smoking as “carrying or having in one's possession a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe, or other object used for a similar purpose, giving off or containing any substance giving off smoke.” The bill is the second keep-Maine-beautiful measure recently approved by the 124th Legislature; ink is barely dry on lawmakers’ resolve to study light pollution in an effort to reduce glare limiting the view of the night sky. If approved by Governor Baldacci, the act will take "effect before the 2009 recreational season begins."