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Oregon Ponders Smoking Ban At All Beaches

Roy W. Lowe
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach viewed from U.S. Highway 101.

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.
The state of Oregon manages all of its 350 or so miles of coastline, so a ban on smoking on public beaches would cover the entire length.

The state parks department says the proposed rule would help cut down on litter, but spokesman Chris Havel said that if the rule is approved park rangers will only target the most egregious violations.

"If we notice that there's a problem we're going to approach that person and say hey, we noticed this, the rule is actually this. Can I get your help in complying with this rule?"

He said fines will be issued only if people refuse to comply with a park ranger's request to stop smoking.

Smoking is already banned at inland state parks, except for campsites and inside personal vehicles.

Oregon’s northern neighbor Washington does not ban smoking at its state park beaches. There’s no statewide ban in California either.