Bill bars smoking on Maine park beaches

Posted April 29, 2009, at 9:13 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — It could be illegal to smoke on beaches at Maine state parks by the time the beach season arrives.

The state Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to the bill, sending it to Gov. John Baldacci for his signature. Besides beaches, it bans smoking on places where people commonly congregate at state parks or other historic sites.

Sen. John Nutting, a Democrat from Leeds who’s sponsoring the bill, said the law would help reduce the public’s exposure to second hand smoke, and make everyone’s beach experience more enjoyable.

The bill also requires the state to put up no-smoking signs. Because it’s an emergency measure, it’ll take effect as soon as the governor signs it, which would be within 10 days.

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