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US Virgin Islands bans smoking at protected beaches

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands - The U.S. Virgin Islands has banned smoking at all beaches inside its national park system.

The smoking ban covers cigars and pipes as well as cigarettes and is enforced from within 50 feet (15 metres) of the shoreline.

National Park Acting Superintendent Mike Anderson said Wednesday that the ban applies to all 12 of the territory's protected beaches, which are on the island of St. John. Rangers are not yet issuing citations but rather educating the public.

The ban was approved to eliminate secondhand smoke and reduce the number of cigarette butts tossed on beaches.

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