PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - Oregon parks officials will hold an initial public hearing on Wednesday night into a plan to would make the state the first to ban smoking along its entire coastline.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission will conduct a series of such hearings, taking opinions from members of the public, before voting in October on the smoking ban on the state’s 363-mile coastline.
If approved by the commission, the beach tobacco restrictions would carry a $110 fine, although parks officials said they plan to warn rule-breaking smokers, not punish them.
“I imagine a ranger would say, ‘You’re going to have to stop that, it’s not allowed,’” Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesman Richard Walkoski said. “It’s about education. You’d really have to be a jerk to get a citation.”
A similar ban on smoking in all state parks was approved earlier this year, with several loopholes added at the urging of the public – it’s still OK to light up in a private vehicle or at a rented tent site.
Oregon’s coastline is state-owned, and its management is delegated to the commission.
Reporting by Courtney Sherwood in Portland, Oregon; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh