Jul 5 - Smoke-free Surf for Pacifica?

The coastal city of Pacifica has proposed to ban smoking on a main fishing pier and on all of its beaches.  The ban, conceived with beaches and wildlife in mind rather than those weary of second-hand smoke, draws enviros to the kickline and leaves smokers fuming. Diana Walsh of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

It's a smoking ban that has nothing to do with the smoke: The City Council in Pacifica wants to outlaw smoking on all city beaches and a popular fishing pier.

But unlike other smoking bans, this one is aimed squarely at cigarette butts and not the dangers of secondhand smoke.

"This is not a no-smoking issue,'' said Mari Brumm-Merrill, director of parks, beaches and recreation in Pacifica. "We are concerned about what (cigarette butts) are doing to the wetlands we've restored."

The cities of Santa Cruz, Carmel, Monterey and scores of towns in Southern California have passed similar bans on beaches, but to the delight of environmentalists -- and the dismay of some salty fishermen -- Pacifica is believed to be the first in the Bay Area to be heading toward a total waterfront ban on cigarettes.

Read the complete article

The toxic chemicals in cigarettes are highly carcinogenic to humans and can harm terrestrial and marine life as well.  Cigarette butts continue to be a large presence in coastal cleanups - approximately 40% of litter picked up in recent years on California's beaches has come from cigarettes.

What you can do: