Smoking ban at California state beaches, parks awaits Schwarzenegger’s decision

Governor Schwarzenegger has until midnight tonight to sign a bill that would ban smoking at state beaches and parks. KPCC’s Julie Small reports on the first of its kind ban.

Under the measure, anyone caught smoking at a state beach or park would face a $100 fine.

State Senator Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) proposed the smoke-free zone to protect the coastal environment and prevent wildfires.

State Parks administrators opposed a version of the bill last year because they didn’t have the money to pay for signs announcing the ban. This year’s version of Oropeza’s bill exempts parks from having to immediately post new signs. They’ll rely on Web sites and handouts to notify patrons.

More than 50 groups and organizations support the ban on smoking at beaches and parks, including the Sierra Club, state firefighters and the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance.

California’s ban on smoking at state beaches and parks is slated to take effect January 1, 2011

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