Pompano Beach is that place where many people come to have a rest, enjoy sea and lie on the clean sand. But recently the beach was full not only of sand, but also of cigarettes butts, says Rafael Katz, who lives near Pompano Beach and takes his children to the beach.
Katz serves on Pompano Beach’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Tired of seeing his children touch cigarette butts, he has been demanding that the City Commission establish an ordinance that bans cigarette smoking at the beach and in city parks.
Katz admitted that there are plenty of cigarette butts on the Pompano Beach, and it is not only simple litter, this litter is also toxic.
“People throw their litter on the sand or fill it up with the sand and do not think about other people who are walking there alone or with children.”
For years Katz together with an advisory board have been requesting the city to establish a ban on smoking. The Clean Air Act, passed in 1990, averts local governments from enacting such bans. But Katz has been meeting with the American Lung Association, which will demand that the city transmit a resolution to Tallahassee to end the pre-emptive law.
Katz said that it is necessary to find golden mean in order to everybody was pleased.
Katz added that if a smoking ban is not impossible at the beach, there should be established designated areas for smoking, where will be placed bins in which smokers would be able to discard cigarette butts.
The effort to clean beaches of cigarette litter is not regarded only to Pompano Beach. This theme touched on also the Windjammer Resort and Beach Club in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. The general manager of this club, John Boutin, founded a campaign called The Butts Stop Here to discourage visitors from littering the beach. In order to reduce cigarette litter, smoking guests were provided with a colorful metal receptacle that serves as an ashtray. Lighthouse Point also lately passed a resolution demanding Tallahassee to permit local governments to establish smoking bans.
Nicholas Mallos, a marine debris specialist for the Ocean Conservancy, said cigarette butts are the most common items the group finds on beaches during its cleanup operations.
Mallos said they know that toxins are released into the marine environment. However, the extent of the impact on the fish and wildlife is only start to be explored.
Mallos said that according to the study of the Journal of Tobacco Control one cigarette in a liter of water can be harmful to marine life.
“The issue of ocean litter is persistent and is expanding in our beaches and our marine environment,” Mallos said.