NH Lawmakers Weigh Smoking Ban For Parks, Beaches

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State lawmakers are considering bills banning smoking at state parks and beaches.

One would ban smoking at the park’s public gathering areas, such as the pavilions and restrooms.

At a legislative hearing Thursday, Ted Austin of the Parks and Recreation Department said his agency is not taking a position on the proposal but says it does get complaints about second-hand smoke.

But the acting head of the Cigar Association of New Hampshire, Ed Santamaria, said the bill would infringe on people’s ability to enjoy themselves in the parks.

The sponsor of the bill banning smoking at the beaches, state Rep. Judith Day, believes a ban will boost tourism. But Hampton Beach lifeguard Warren Shane says taking lifeguards away from watching the water to enforce smoking laws would be difficult.

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