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Oregon moves to ban smoking on beaches

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm •  Published: July 24, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is taking steps to ban smoking on all 362 miles of beaches along the Pacific coast.

The move this week by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department follows an earlier ban on smoking at most other state park properties.

It's partly a response to concerns that the earlier smoking ban, enacted in February, will push more smokers onto the coastline, said Chris Havel, an agency spokesman. The ban would also reduce litter on beaches and ensure consistent rules throughout the state parks system, he said.

The agency 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.

Smokers could face a $110 fine, although the agency says it prefers to educate visitors and only issues citations to the most egregious repeat offenders.

Oregon has about 548 park rangers — about two-thirds of them seasonal — who enforce the rules along the coast and in 224 state parks.

Under the rules enacted earlier this year, smoking is banned on state park property except in a vehicle or campsite, or portions of day-use parks that are designated as safety rest areas.

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