Posted by: audreybenenati | March 18, 2010

Calif. considers smoking ban at all state parks

By SAMANTHA YOUNG (AP) – 8 hours ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers on Thursday will consider what is believed to be the nation’s most far-reaching smoking ban in state parks as a way to get unsightly cigarette butts off the beach, eliminate second-hand smoke and reduce the threat of wildfires….

"It is very clear that the garbage that is created as a result of smoking on beaches — butts and wrappers — are polluting our water," Democratic state Sen. Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach, the bill’s author, said in an interview. "In terms of the state park system, we have a major fire hazard when cigarettes are smoked in parks."

…The legislation is opposed by the tobacco industry, which disputes that second-hand smoke is harmful.

…Oropeza, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2004, said second-hand smoke is a known carcinogen and that Californians have a right to breathe smoke-free air. Oropeza, who underwent surgery and chemotherapy, is now cancer free.

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