Assembly passes ban on smoking at state beaches, parks

March 23, 2010

California’s Legislature is one step away from banning smoking at most state beaches and parts of the state’s 278 parks. The Assembly passed the ban on Monday and sent it to the state Senate, which is also expected to approve it. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not said whether he will sign it into law.

The proposal, Senate Bill 4, would prohibit smoking at state beaches and parks, except at campsites and parking lots. It would impose a $100 fine, but that fine would be enforced after visitors were notified of the ban through signs posted in the area. No new state resources could be used to enforce the law.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jenny Oropeza, a Democrat who represents the coast of south Los Angeles County. It is supported by the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance, plus a stwate firefighters association and the Sierra Club.

“Unfortunately, many beach visitors are irresponsible with their smoking habit,” Oropeza said in a statement. “Our majestic beaches and parks have been marred by cigarette butts for far too long.”

The proposal is believed to be the most far-reaching statewide ban on smoking in public recreation areas in the country.

Photo from Smart Destinations.

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