Smoking banned on all V.I. National Park beaches
Published: February 7, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - As of Jan. 30, the National Park Service on St. John banned smoking on all 10 of the beaches in Virgin Islands National Park, but the service plans to enforce the ban through verbal warnings, not fines and citations.
The ban prohibits smoking within 50 feet of the water and within 50 feet of all restrooms, dining tables and Park Service buildings. The purpose is to eliminate secondhand smoke, protect marine life from choking on butts and keep toxic chemicals leached by the butts out of the water.
"Smoking and smoking debris pose a second hand smoke hazard to park visitors and constitute a general safety and sanitation hazard especially to small children playing on the beach. The accumulation of toxic cigarette butts and other tobacco by-products directly onto Park beaches is a preventable hazard to park marine life. Birds and marine animals can ingest cigarette butts leading to choking, poisoning, and or death," a Park Service press release states.