February 21, 2008

Oropeza targets parks, beaches for smoking ban

Sen. Jenny Oropeza has introduced new legislation to further restrict smoking in California. The bill would ban lighting up a cigarette at any of California’s state parks or beaches.

Oropeza introduced the legislation on Thursday, after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill she authored in 2007 making it illegal to smoke in a car, if there is a child passenger.

The bill, SB 1418, is not yet in print online, but Oropeza’s office reports violating the would-be law could result in a $100 fine. That’s the same fine level Schwarzenegger agreed to in signing the 2007 ban on smoking in cars with children.

Oropeza, in a statement announcing the legislation, couched the bill in environmental terms. “Caring for the environment and protecting public health are goals worthy of California’s policymakers,” said the Long Beach Democrat. “Safeguarding state parks and beaches from cigarette butts, protecting fish and helping prevent fires reflect the values of most Californians.

This also shows we are good stewards of our environment.”