Bill to Ban Smoking in State Park Picnic Areas Sent to Governor
(Sacramento) – Californians visiting state parks and beaches could expect smoke-free picnic areas thanks to a new bill that lawmakers sent to Governor Jerry Brown for a signature on Friday.
Assembly Bill 1097, authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, would prohibit smoking in designated picnic areas in state parks and beaches.
California’s state parks draw millions of visitors, who come from around the world to enjoy California’s natural resources and protected land. Unfortunately, it is common to find cigarette butts discarded on beaches or in state parks. In fact, cigarettes are the most common form of litter, and are improperly disposed of 65 percent of the time.
“Californians are used to eating without smoke – we banned smoking in restaurants a long time ago,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “Families and state park and beach-goers deserve good, clean – and hopefully smoke-free -- fun. Because the science is clear: second-hand smoke kills.”
Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, approximately fifty of which are known carcinogens. Not only do these substances leech into the ground or water, animals may confuse them with food, becoming poisoned, or choking on them.
The bill awaits the governor’s signature.
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Assemblymember Marc Levine represents the 10th Assembly District, which includes Marin and Sonoma Counties.