There is talk about banning smoking on our beaches. How that would be enforced is an issue in itself but as a non-smoker I strongly agree with the idea, but I do have a few reservations about banning smoking on all beaches. There are the more obvious examples here smoking should be banned and enforcement in the form of fines used to make it stick. The inner city beaches and some other popular resorts spring to mind.
The smokers who leave their stinky residue (I didn’t want to use the word butts for obvious reasons!) on the beaches have caused this proposed for new rule. They have no one but themselves to blame. How many times have you seen smokers causally throwing away their butts on the beach, then lighting up another one. No doubt they will say that they ‘never do that.’ Yeah right!
I do not want to stop people enjoying the beaches of New Zealand, but it is timely that we consider this new move. I would reluctantly say that we could allow smoking on beaches that are less visited and I know by saying this that will incur the wrath of those at the extreme end of the debate or of ‘greenies.’
Let’s have some balance in this and see what happens. Of course, if balance was shown by those who chuck away their butts, we may not have arrived at this point at all. Mind you, there is the question of the ‘example’ public smoking provides. I am not such a wowser that I would go to that extreme. Smoking has to remain a ‘well informed choice.’ Or we will have to enter into more arguments about alcohol consumption and perhaps the use of other legal substances. Damn, this is mucking around with my head--- it’s far too early for a tipple or two.