Smoking is now banned on Middletown’s town beaches. That makes nine towns and cities - out of 39 - that have passed ordinances to ban smoking on local beaches.
State beaches have been smoke-free for several years now.
On Middletown’s two beaches, the ban went into effect last week. And Newport has just banned smoking on the iconic Cliff Walk.
Middletown parks manager Will Cronin says smokers and non-smokers seemed to handle the ban well on its first full weekend.
“There were no real issues. We had plenty of signage out there for folks to see when they were coming into the beach and walking on to the beach."
Cronin says the ban addresses the health impacts of smoking, but...
“Also environmentally," said Cronin. "When folks are smoking, often times they’ll just leave their butts behind.”
And those cigarette butts add up. This year, coastal clean-up volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy and Save the Bay hauled in nearly 42,000 cigarette butts from Rhode Island beaches. The butts are not biodegradable.