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Snyder to outline health plan

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver a health reform message tomorrow. He’s expected to ask Michiganders to take control of their health by exercising and eating better, and to ask smokers to quit. He’s expected to acknowledge there are not many things government can do to force people to live healthier. But he will ask the Legislature to outlaw smoking at beaches in state parks.

A ban on smoking at beaches would make them more family-friendly, and improve the environment, says the governor's policy chief, Bill Rustem:

“When a person puts a butt out in the sand, all for the tars, nicotines, etcetera, they don’t just disappear. They end up in the water – in the sand in the beach, and then when it rains they move to the water.”

Rustem also says it takes many years for cellulose filters to break down, and they can be mistaken for food by some wildlife. 

But  not everybody thinks the ban is a good idea.

On a visit to the state park at Interlochen, Bill Van DenBossche called the proposal a waste of time:

“There’s cigarette butts around, but, on the other hand, there’s a lot of smokers who take care of their state parks and that kind of stuff, too. This park up here is well kept, as far as I’m concerned.”

The governor is also expected to call on people to take more responsibility for their health by exercising, eating better, and quitting smoking.



Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.