‘Just as California banned smoking at indoor venues decades ago, it is time that visitors enjoying our state beaches and state parks be protected from the harm caused by smoking.’
Senate Bill 8, which would ban smoking in both state beaches and state parks, is up to be ratified for the third year in a row.
Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) and Assemblyman Marc Levine (D – Marin County) have tried to pass similar bills in 2017 and 2018, but they were vetoed both times by former Governor Jerry Brown for being “too broad.”
“If people can’t smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they?” said Governor Brown in 2017, “There must be some limits to the coercive power of government.”
SB8, which was approved by the state Senate in May, also establishes a $25 fine for smoking in a state beach or park and for littering the beach or park with cigar or cigarette waste.
“The Senator has been working on this for the past few years,” a representative for Sen. Glazer told the California Globe. “He has been hearing about this a lot from constituents, and he decided that something must be done.”
The push for this bill also stems from environmental and health concerns. The environmental research organization Californians Against Waste has found that cigarette butts are the most littered item on beaches and in parks. In a 2011 study, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that of the 292 billion cigarettes smoked in the United States in 2011, two-thirds of them were littered.
“Just as California banned smoking at indoor venues decades ago, it is time that visitors enjoying our state beaches and state parks be protected from the harm caused by smoking,” Assemblyman Levine said of his push on the ban.” We have waited long enough to protect the Golden State’s public health and natural environment.”
With largely Bipartisan support in both houses in Sacramento, and a new Governor in Gavin Newsom, who, as Mayor of San Francisco, attempted to raise the cigarette tax by 33 cents and banned cigarette sales in Pharmacies, the bill is expected to pass the third time around.