California Senate votes to ban smoking at the beach
June 1, 2016
California state senators voted Tuesday to ban smoking at beaches and parks. The bill would also prohibit disposing of tobacco waste at state parks and state beaches. [LA Times]
Supporters of SB 1333 say the bill is necessary, not only for public health, but also to combat wildfires. Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego), who introduced the bill, said many wildfires have been started by people tossing lighted cigarettes.
“If this measure prevents just one wildfire, it will save millions” of dollars, Block said.
The Democratic lawmaker also said cigarettes contain more than 164 toxic chemicals, and they are non-biodegradable and cause substantial trash issues at beaches and parks. SB 1333 applies to e-cigarettes and medical marijuana, as well traditional cigarettes.
Officials estimate it will cost up to $1.1 million to install 20 signs at each of California’s 280 state parks and beaches.
State senators voted 25-11 in favor of the bill. The legislation now moves on to the Assembly.
Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills regulating tobacco use and e-cigarettes. The legislation included a bill that raised the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 and a bill that makes e-cigarettes regulated like traditional cigarettes.