SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon is taking steps to ban smoking on all 362 miles of beaches along the Pacific coast.
The move by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department follows a ban on smoking at most other state-park property, which was enacted earlier this year.
Agency spokesman Chris Havel says the move to include beaches is partly a response to concerns that the earlier ban would push more smokers onto the coastline. Havel says the smoking ban would also reduce litter on beaches.
According to SOLVE, a state-wide non-profit dedicated to keeping Oregon clean and green, cigarette butts are the most littered item on the state’s beaches.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is taking public comment on the proposal through Aug. 29 and will hold public meetings to discuss it in Seaside, Newport, Coos Bay and Salem.
Under a 1967 Oregon law, the state controls the entire coast up to the line of vegetation, and the public has free access.
KOIN 6 News’ Joel Iwanaga contributed to this report.