Hallandale Wants to Kick Our Butts Off the Beach


The Hallandale Beach City Commission is contemplating an ordinance that would make smoking illegal on the city's public beaches. "There are obviously anti-littering laws, but it's easy to just stick a cigarette in the sand," says Commissioner Keith London, who proposed a feasibility study for a no-smoking-on-the-beach ordinance after learning that cigarette butts accounted for 46% of the trash plucked there during prior beach clean-ups.

Preliminary inquiries show that the city might have to defer to state officials on matters related to smoking legislation. That might explain why, as far as I can tell, no city in Florida has banned smoking on its beaches. 

Now, I'm all for a good smoke now and then. And I should confess to having enjoyed, and then mashed out, a number of cigarettes on various beaches during my younger, more reckless days. But here's the problem with stubbing that sucker out on the ground: A cigarette butt takes years to disintegrate. The filters are made of cellulose acetate (rayon); they leach toxins (tar); and sea birds sometimes mistake them for food (one hell of a belly ache).

So, good luck Hallandale.

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