Tybee Island City Council to vote on smoking ban on beach

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:55 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Thursday night a big vote for the Tybee Island City Council to see if smoking could soon be banned on the beach.

It could be a very close vote from the city council, but if they do approve the ordinance change they will soon add another rule to this list which would be no smoking.

This would apply to all tobacco and related products including cigarettes and vapes.

The City of Tybee Island says that cigarette butts are the number one item of litter found on the beach and over a five year period, they have collected almost half a million off the beach.

If the council does approve the change to ban smoking from the beach, code enforcement would start with warning but eventually start to issue fines for anyone not following the new rule.

“It would be an administrative citation we use through our code enforcement, I don’t know what that fine will be, they would probably set that with the ordinance but code enforcement has been very effective on the beach with dog enforcement, litter enforcement and glass on the beach and some of the other rules that are more common violations that we see out there so we see this one as being along the lines of those,” said Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen.

Under the proposal, smoking would be prohibited on the beach, into the ocean and on all crosswalks to the beach - including the pier.

If it passes, they would start a date Thursday night, but they anticipate sometime in early June this would go into effect to give the island time to notify the public and change signs before it officially starts. Again – all comes down to the vote Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. during their council meeting.

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