Health Advocates Want to Stamp Out Smoking at Beaches

By DeMarco Morgan
|  Thursday, Jun 10, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 PM EDT
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Smoking on the Beach

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A Jersey shore town is considering banning smoking on the beach.

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Smoking on the beach could be a thing of the past if one group of health advocates get their way.

Members of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, the American Cancer Society along with Staten Island's Theatre Brats and many others gathered on the Coney Island Boardwalk to propose extending New York City's existing tobacco use restrictions to beaches and parks.

"We feel strongly that everyone has a right to breathe clean air," said Sheela Feinberg, citywide coordinator for the coalition. "Second hand smoke has health impacts that we are all aware of and it can be a trigger for asthma attacks in both kids and adults," said Feinberg.

Advocates say the move would reduce secondhand smoke exposure and keep the areas free of cigarette butts.

"This seems like a good next step for NYC," said Feinberg. "We have taken the lead on banning smoking, and banning cigarettes on beaches and in parks is the next best step for us."

The group is calling on city leaders to act fast -- while the summer season is still upon us -- to developing a plan that supports their anti-smoke proposal.

"When we have kids playing on the beaches we want them to find seashells not cigarettes," said Feinberg.

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