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New Bill Would Ban Smoking in CA State Parks

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By Kamika Dunlap on March 18, 2010 2:45 PM

Lawmakers are proposing a new bill that would ban smoking in CA state parks.

The bill aims to cut down on cigarette waste, limit exposure to secondhand smoke and prevent wildfires. If signed into law, it also would make California the first state to ban smoking throughout an entire park system, the Associated Press reports.

The bill was introduced by State Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2004 and is now living cancer free.

If the bill passes, the smoking ban in California's state parks would be one of the most far reaching in the country. Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York are considering similar smoking bans.

It would also fall in line with laws already on California's book that ban smoking in enclosed workplaces such as bars and restaurants, and within 25 feet of a playground.

Under a legislative compromise however, campsites and parking areas will be exempted from the ban.

Tobacco manufacturers oppose the bill, claiming it infringes on the rights of smokers.

If the legislation is eventually signed into law it will impose a $100 fine to violators caught smoking on park hiking trails or beaches.

The bill does not cover parking lots next to state parks and beaches. 

Also, any of California's 279 of state parks that could not afford to buy and post buy no-smoking signs would be exempt. It is not clear how many parks fall into that category.

Across the country there are about 100 cities that prohibit smoking at beaches. For example, Maine banned smoking at its state beaches last year.

 

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