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Marine City Beach Smokers Asked To Keep Off The Sand

Smoking in public areas is a prevalent issue in Michigan, with non-smoking cigarettes advocates demanding the habit be kept away from the general public.

Marine City resident Gary Gabler joined the ranks of the protesters when he read a letter he wrote to commissioners at the July 21 Marine City meeting. There were a couple issues Gabler said he would like to see changed at Marine City Beach.

First, he suggested designating the Marine City Beach a non-smoking cigarettes zone.

"My granddaughter put a cigarette butt in her mouth and I walked on top of one and burned my foot," he told commissioners.

He also cited examples of other cities that banned the habit as far back as 2006.

"Los Angeles banned all smoking cigarettes in parks in 2007 in city parks and beaches," he said. "San Diego in July 2006 banned smoking cigarettes in all city beaches and parks. New York City 2011 banned all smoking cigarettes in parks, beaches, boardwalks, recreation centers and pools."

Mayor Charles Browne said Marine City does not have the manpower that larger cities have to enforce a smoking cigarettes ban. Instead, the commission agreed to place cigarette butt receptacles on the grassy sections at the back of the park behind the sandy area of the beach. Commissioners also discussed putting up signs asking smokers to be respectful of non-smoking cigarettes residents at the beach by smoking cigarettes only on the grassy areas and placing their butts in the provided receptacles.

They agreed and directed City Manager John Gabor to order the signs and butt cans.

Gabler said he would like to see a shower installed so that swimmers can wash off after getting out of the water. Gabler wrote that "for health and cleanliness reasons," beach patrons should be rinsing off after exiting the St. Clair River.

He said the cost of the pipe showerhead and shut off valve would be less than $100. He referred to a newspaper article that stated taking a shower with soap and water was recommended for safety reasons. Swimmer's itch and other bacterial afflictions are not unusual side affects of swimming in public waterways.

Commissioners discussed putting in a makeshift shower, but City Manager John Gabor said it would probably not last too long with teens around.

The issue went unaddressed but could be resurrected at a later date. After the meeting, Mayor Charles Browne said he would talk further with Gabler on it.

Gabler was distressed with the commission's solution to the smoking cigarettes issue.

"This whole thing backfired on me," he said. "Now more people will smoke, with the butt cans out there."




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