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Gulfport Moves Forward With Proposed Smoking Ban on Beaches, Play Areas

In a workshop at Gulfport City Hall Thursday, the city council agreed to consider a smoking ban on city beaches and play areas used by children. Protecting children from second-hand smoke and reducing litter are the two main goals.

Gulfport came once step closer to banning smoking on city beaches. However, instead of limiting smoking only on beaches, the proposed rule will now also apply to play areas frequented by children.

At Thursday's City Council Workshop at Gulfport City Call, council members discussed Ordinance 2011-13, which initially asked the city council to "adopt a reasonable ordinance to make the City of Gulfport's beach area tobacco-free."

Vice Mayor David Hastings began the conversation by reminding the council of his stance against smoking. He then referred to the success Sarasota County had with a similar ban.

"Sarasota tried the education route. Sarasota tried the fine route. There were three different things Sarasota tried," Hastings said. "And nothing worked."

"Sarasota County then enacted a beach ban ordinance countywide. Since then, two of the cities in there have also joined," Hastings added, "and they felt it has worked."

"There's tons and tons of health reasons why," Hastings said. "Now—believe it or not—they have come out with something called 'third-hand' smoke."

"That is smoke that actually would sit on an outside bench," Hastings said. "Residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of surfaces by tobacco smoke."

"The only way to protect non-smokers from third-hand smoke is with a smoke-free environment," he added.

Council Member Sam Henderson wanted to clarify his position on a smoking ban.

"I don’t think anyone is doubting the health issues in any way," Henderson said. "I don’t think we are as far apart as it has been laid out."

Henderson was referring to the September 6 council meeting where he raised a concern about a ban on smoking and the impact on "people's rights." It gave many a feeling that he would be opposed to Hastings' proposal.

In the workshop, Henderson repeated his opinion that it was "unfair to say all smokers are litterbugs," but he was open to look at a limited ordinance prohibiting smoking. He said he would consider a way that would include beaches and public areas frequented by children, with perhaps a one-year test run. The probationary period would be to assess the extent and costs of enforcement of such a ban.

"I'm trying to meet you guys in the middle," Henderson said. "I'm not going to vote for every park in the city."  

All of the council members agreed that a smoking ordinance, which reached beyond the beaches but limited to children's play areas, was a "good start."

Mayor Mike Yakes suggested that some areas, such as Clam Bayou and Veteran's park, would be made exempt from becoming a tobacco-free area.

"I don’t support Clam Bayou on the basis is that is a fishing place where people do put a pole in hand and try to catch a fish and relax," Yakes said. "That is an adult place."

Ordinance 2011-13 is expected to return to a vote by Gulfport City Council sometime next month. The council agreed that the ordinance would have two main goals: to protect children from second-hand—or third-hand—smoke, and to reduce litter on Gulfport's beaches and recreation areas used by children.

The next step is public input and a vote. The Gulfport City Council will meet again on October 4, 2011 at 7 p.m. Gulfport City Hall is located at 2401 53rd St. S.

CJ October 01, 2011 at 05:46 PM
JohnE-This is where you lose most of us and you really start to sound looney.... when you say things like: ''...However,you make a great case why smoking should be a protected status just as race,religion and disiabilities.'' How can you seriously take the position that issues with smoking/litter can be compared to race, relidion, and disabilities? That's rediculous
JohnE October 01, 2011 at 05:52 PM
multifactorial means many possibilities, smoking being just one possibility.................and pollen,uv rays,auto exhaust, your own personal breathed out carcinogens from your own exhalatiions etc................thousands of possibilities. Ya that old alcohol somehow just put it to your lips all by itself'' DEMON RUM''..........Alcohol has been proven how it makes people drunk and thru toxicology not thru dreamed up epidemiology! Your comparisons are moot!
JohnE October 01, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Of course Im against littering, However cig butts account for nothing when compared to what most sane people refer to as litter/trash ie paper saks etc! cig butts are bio-degradable as Ive already shown. No matter what you do, pass all the laws you want litter will still exist,just the same as cig butts on the ground! Whining and crying wont change anything. All your doing by pushing insane smoking ban laws and trying to hide behind litter as one of your main emotionally charged arguments is weak at best and non-existent compared to the bigger littering problem. To even suggest smoke from a cigarette on the beach with gulf breezes blowing all the time is akin to suffering from this:
JohnE October 01, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Symptoms of OlfactophobiaThe list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Olfactophobia includes the 11 symptoms listed below: •Irrational fear or dislike of smells •Feeling of panic •Feeling of terror •Feeling of dread •Rapid heartbeat •Shortness of breath •Nausea •Dry mouth •Trembling •Anxiety •Extreme avoidance measures taken http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/o/olfactophobia/symptoms.htm
JohnE October 01, 2011 at 06:10 PM
70 years ago they called activists pushing laws like this PROHIBITIONISTS! Yes,there was also tobacco prohibition before alcohol prohibition all failed and the same is happening today!
CJ October 01, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I said and agreed...''The word, ''multifactorial'', as you mention, is obviously true. (cancer being ''one'' of the ''factors''..hence ''mutifactorial'') Keep track of your won words..will ''ya''? ???? It's been fun...but....I gottat go...''ironically''...I am taking my famly to the ''science'' museum today (places that have ''junk science'')...which I am sure is a place you never go. You must have always flunked science. I mean that is a nice way...cough...cough.
JohnE October 01, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Chow, MissC Im off to a marathon!
Cherlene Willis October 01, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Cameron, I appreciate people's comments and enjoy a heated discussion here and there. I just don't want people to: use masked profanity, abusive, obscene and offensive language, anything that is threatening and of course, anything that promotes illegal activities. Also, anything that is posted over and over again, especially directed to a specific person, can be seen as harassing. There were several comments from several different users that I deleted recently. I'm keeping an eye on the conversation just to make sure people are stating their points, but being civilized as well. Thanks for continuing to comment on the story. - Cherlene
CJ October 02, 2011 at 02:07 AM
I am not sure what to say when you publicly insinuate that ''I'' am harrasing ''him''. Are you serious? I had never thought this before until now, but I almost almost wondering if you are a smoker yourself? Obvioulsy, the bans on smoking are not sitting well with those on that side of the fence...the 17% or so. I also realize you deleted many other people's comments. Even some of the Vice Mayors wife. I also saw that you deleted some of JohnE's comments. In order to make that sit better with im, then I agree it was fair to delete many others comments. He started this crud. Uh..is that (''crud'') the masked profanity you are talking about...just curious...because I thought that was siimply trying to keep things clean. This is starting to feel like the Huffington Post. The pick and choose moderating. I live here. JohnE does not. He is a ''pro'' at this...and knows very well ''all the tricks''...including getting long with you...and how to string this along as long as he can get away with it. Just the fact he mentioned he was going to go ''run a marathon''. More evidence he is a paid blogger, and may even be a non smoker and this is all an act for money. ''Me'' harassing him? Show me a marathon runner who smokes.
CJ October 02, 2011 at 02:08 AM
It would be nice to hear JohnE publcly chastised along with the rest of us. I don't have to particiapate in your blog, but I live here. I also can't sit by and listen to the crude that he gets away with. I made my comments reffering your name in jest...I was joking...you should know that I highly respect you based on the many things in Gulport Patch I have seen from you. ''Of Course'' I know you are watching things. I will apoogize if it sounded like I was being a smart aleck with you...I assumed you felt the same about JohnE. I am glad you are watching...but the wrong people here are being made into the bad guys.
CJ October 02, 2011 at 02:32 AM
OK JohnE...you answered the question..although not as simply as I hoped...but neither of us seems to have a shortage of words...so I was cool with your reply. I even got my hind end chewed out. I am a big boy and can take it. Let's take your first sentence: ''Of course I'm against littering''. I figured you were. It is hard to imagine anyone not being against littering. I was just going to say...once I heard your reply.. and, by the way, ''thank you '' for being couteous enough to do that and replying...That ..if you were against littering...then you really, really , really...need to participate in some litter pick-up volunteer projects. That was a long sentence that would get me an F in Englsih 101. These projects speak for themselves and are the ''single thing''' that have ''changed'' many people. They are like the ghosts that take Ebeneezer Scrooge around. They make you ''see'' the truth about littering. You will ''never'' go on a litter clean up outings and not see that cigarettes are, hands down, the most littered item. Not in ''volume''..but quanity. I have mentioned this to you before. It is hard to take anyone seriouse defending smoking that has not helped pick up litter. I know you say you were in the Navy, an ex-cop, an astronaut, etc...but you clearly have never picked up litter.
CJ October 02, 2011 at 02:34 AM
oh...and I forgot ''marathoner''.
Cherlene Willis October 02, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Cameron, If you have specific questions regarding what comments of yours were deleted please email me your email address. The descriptions I listed in my previous comment did not ALL apply to your comments, they were just issues that I had with comments overall from several different users about this specific story. None of your comments were harassing. I apologize if you misunderstood my last comment. Again, I can be reached at cherlene.willis@patch.com. I have a complete record of what comments were deleted and why. As far as other people - they were also informed of a couple comments that were inappropriate and/or violated our terms of use, I am not trying to "single" anyone out. Just trying to keep people informed.
Cherlene Willis October 02, 2011 at 02:40 AM
Also, I do not pick and choose what comments to keep, I just need to make sure that people do not violate our terms of use. Comments are first posted, I do not need to approve them or read them prior to publishing. This applies to all stories on Gulfport Patch.
Philip Penrose October 02, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Ok - everybody...the weather is beautiful. Go outside tomorrow and enjoy the day. No posting in the Butt Patch. ;)
jo October 02, 2011 at 12:48 PM
CJ, maybe we should just turn this blog over to erkle, and for the rest of us we maybe should just drop this blog because this guy just keeps going around in circles and is of no use at this point. Let the Patch and Erkle have at it, does anyone really care what he thinks? Our city IS OUR CITY, not his, he doesnt even live here. So let him blow all the smoke he wants, we just have to not pay attention to him.
CJ October 02, 2011 at 05:43 PM
''Olfactophobia''...so..according to this definition from the Junk Science Encyclopedia...does this mean if I don't the smell of cigarttes. or if I don't like it blowing in the direction of children or even the smell off passing gas, etc...that it means that I am paranoid and afraid and the annoyance is just imaginary? I'll remember that next time I am at the movie theater and someone lets one or I am setting on the pier having a romantic leisurely time with my wife enjoying the sunset and somebody is smoking right next to us. Us 83% surely would not want to ruin the pleasure of the 17% by being pyscho and/or ''phobic''. I guess it is ''us'' who needs to get a grip.
CJ October 02, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Isn't masked profanity what Zorro would say when Midnight throws him off unto the ground from too sudden of a stop?
CJ October 02, 2011 at 06:00 PM
70 years ago the anxiety of WW2 was on everyone's mind...and we ''all'' had good reason to smoke. I imagine trying to fight smokers at that time was pretty futile errort and a waste of time...and for good reason. Not so today.
JohnE October 02, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Heres the floriduh law on smoking as of right now and its still illegal to pass any outdoor bans in floriduh! CHAPTER 2011-108 Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 1430 An act relating to the regulation of smoking; amending s. 386.209, F.S.; authorizing school districts to restrict smoking on school district property; providing an effective date. Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: Section 1. Section 386.209, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 386.209 Regulation of smoking preempted to state.—This part expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject; however, school districts may further restrict smoking by persons on school district property. Section 2.Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011. Approved by the Governor June 2, 2011. Filed in Office Secretary of State June 2, 2011.
JohnE October 02, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Even in ww2 the prohibitionists were still trying to get prohibition!Its a never ending story with control over what other people do or enjoy! An editorial in the daily newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe, The Stars and Stripes, expressed alarm at temperance activities back home in the United States. It observed that: Taking advantage of wartime conditions and restrictions, the new prohibition group is working night and day for legislation which will give America prohibition in fact if not in name.... We can remember the days of prohibition, when moonshine whiskey made quick fortunes for bootleggers, crooked politicians and dishonest police officials. As a result we claim we know what we want in the way of liquor legislation and feel those at home should wait until we return before initiating further legislation on liquor control. (Childs, 1947, pp. 248-249)
JohnE October 02, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Perhaps in the belief that the end justifies the means, temperance leaders frequently made clearly erroneous assertions. For example, a leading dry editor wrote that "The liquor interests use more than 1,250,000 tons of sugar every year, which is more than the one-half pound ration per week for every man, woman and child in the United States of America" (Childs, 1947, p. 224). Actually, no sugar is used in producing distilled spirits beverages. Similarly, the president of the WCTU wrote that "Total consumption of legal and illicit liquor in the fiscal year ended June 30, 1941, was approximately 2,017,835,015 gallons," (Childs, 1947, p. 225). That would have been over 15 gallons for every man, woman, and child in a country that contained a large proportion of abstainers! http://www.prohibitionrepeal.com/history/another.asp
JohnE October 02, 2011 at 09:32 PM
1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10). 1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children. 1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says. 1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do." 1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee. 1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.
JohnE October 02, 2011 at 10:13 PM
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/ PROHIBITION Premieres October 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2011 at 8 PM on PBS CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS PROHIBITION is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality
mtober October 06, 2011 at 02:20 AM
I can't believe this thing is still going on. It is obvious that interaction with Erkle is like butting your head against a block wall. You are not going to get thru. Ignor him.
john davidson February 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
The final fitting end to this story Charlene Beach Smoking Ban Lifted Gulfport City Council members unanimously voted to remove the smoking ban on the beach to end a lawsuit that claimed the ban was unconstitutional. http://gulfport.patch.com/articles/beach-smoking-ban-lifted
CJ February 06, 2013 at 03:32 PM
As a former smoker I am laughing knowing how at ease many smokers must feel now and breathe a sigh of relief...or I guess that is sort of a poor choice of words. How about, they can temporarily rejoice for now? ''The final fitting end'' is a little boastful , though. I would say you guys should enjoy yourselves while you can. Nothing wrong with that. The fat lady has not sung yet.
CJ February 06, 2013 at 03:38 PM
JohnE (as in rotten)...I would have been dissapointed if you did not show up...I have been wonderiong what has taken you so long to respond? Have recent fingers surgery or something? How's your carreer as an Astronaut, Navy Seal Diver, Policeman, and all those other rediculous things you have listed going? Don't wear out your dancing shoes over this.
CJ February 06, 2013 at 06:25 PM
With you on the beach, JohnE, that is enough of anything related to a butt.
CJ February 06, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Ok, JohnE...I will read it and weep and agree it is sad...and then I will wipe my eyes with toilet paer that has your name printed on it.

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