Bill Would Ban Smoking At State Parks And Beaches

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A measure that would ban smoking at state parks and beaches has passed its first test in the California Senate. 

Supporters of the bill say it would cut down on litter, reduce wildfire threats and make going to state parks and beaches a more enjoyable experience for people bothered by cigarette smoke. 
Democratic Senator Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach is backing the bill.  She says cigarette butts on beaches are a big problem… 
“This pollution presents serious threats to marine life, can interfere with their ability to eat and digest food and could potentially impact the food chain for all of us…”

Under the bill, anyone who violates the smoking ban at state beaches and parks could face a minimum fine of 250-dollars.  Opponents of the measure include Republican Los Angeles area Senator John Benoit.  He complains a state measure would interfere with public park smoking bans already approved by more than 100 California cities and counties.  The bill now moves to another Senate Committee.