A California State Assembly environmental committee has approved a plan to ban smoking at state beaches and designated areas of state parks.
The Assembly’s Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee voted Tuesday, July 7th to approve Senate Bill 4, sponsored by state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, which would prohibit smoking in state parks and on state-owned beaches.
“Unfortunately, too many beach visitors are irresponsible with their habit,” said Oropeza, whose district includes Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey.
The vote came after the bill was amended due to enforcement concerns, allowing the state Department of Parks and Recreation to designate areas where smoking is banned.
SB 4 would establish a fine of up to $100 for smoking at a state beach.
“Our majestic beaches have been marred by cigarette butts for far too long,” the senator, who is a cancer survivor, added. “As a representative of the 28th Senate District, I have a responsibility to protect our beautiful coastline from Venice to Long Beach and beyond.”
Smoking bans at California’s beaches have gained wide support over the last few years. More than 100 local governments statewide have already imposed smoking bans, including bans in local parks, beaches and piers in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Santa Monica, Seal Beach and Solana Beach.
Oropeza has sponsored previous legislation that places heavy restrictions on the use of tobacco. Senate Bill 7 prohibits smoking in cars when children are present. It applies to any car with a youth younger than the age of 18 and subjects the smoker to a $100 fine.
SB 4 now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.