After New port and Middle town, Portsmouth may soon become the latest Rhode Island town to ban smoking on beaches and other public areas.
At the request of Councilman David Gleason, the Town Council voted unanimously over the ban on smoking in public places. A town lawyer will draft an ordinance that would ban smoking on beaches and in public parks and recreational areas.
The measure is intended to help reduce litter as well as health effects. Cigarette butts were the most common item of trash found during the numerous cleanups organized by Clean Ocean Access every year. The ordinance likely would go into effect next year if approved.
Gleason said that a smoking ban would increase the quality of air at the beaches and cut down on litter.