To District 4 State Rep. Mel Ponder and District 1 Florida Senator Doug Broxson: Thank you for your efforts at bettering where we live, work and play.

A few days ago I read the Northwest Florida Daily News column by Del Stone Jr. entitled, “Time to snuff out beach smoking.” I totally agree with his viewpoint. I believe it’s time to make it illegal to smoke on the beach. Multiple times I have gone to the beach, put down my beach towel, sat down and then five minutes later someone camps out next to me and begins smoking. Sometimes they have children that breathe in the horrid smoke as well.

I usually don’t say anything; I get up and move. Then, 5 minutes later it happens again and I have to move again. It’s sad. One time I asked a young man if he could stop somking, and he obliged by putting out the cigarette in the sand. He then buried it. I cringed. From my understanding, it takes about 10 years for a cigarette to decompose. These “poison sticks” run off into our oceans and hurt the environment. Furthermore, they pollute the air we breathe, and many times, ruin my beach experience.

Please, make it illegal to smoke on the beach. Let’s make a positive stand for the people of this community, and the tourists, who would like to breathe clean air. Other Florida beaches have made it illegal to smoke; I think it’s time to join the bandwagon.

Katy Krueger, Mary Esther