Laguna Beach considering citywide public smoking ban

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The city of Laguna Beach is moving forward with a citywide ban on smoking in all public areas. (KABC)

Laguna Beach has moved a step closer to banning smoking in all public areas of the city.

The City Council voted unanimously this week to move ahead with a citywide ban - asking city staff to draft an ordinance.

The ban would expand the list of areas off limits to smokers, to include sidewalks, bike paths, even common areas of condo complexes.

Smoking is already prohibited in certain areas such as the beach and parks.

"I think it's a positive idea. I think people should be smoking inside," said Frank Macias, a Laguna Beach resident. "People should respect the boundaries of other people."

Mayor pro tem Kelly Boyd said he reluctantly voted in favor. But he said he's also concerned about it and wants more detail, such as how the ban could affect people living in condos.

"I'm not sure if a common area means if someone has a deck on their place that they're not going to be allowed to smoke on their own deck," Boyd said.

The City Council also asked the police chief to come up with a plan on how to enforce it.

"Laguna, getting 6 million people a year coming through from Europe, Asia - it's going to be really difficult," Boyd said.

One visitor from France, smoking a cigarette near the beach, was surprised to hear of the proposal.

"I think outside you're not hurting people when you're smoking because there is wind," said Denis da Silva.

"The U.S. is supposed to be the country of freedom so that's my freedom of smoking."

Council members say they started looking at the ban after receiving complaints from residents about secondhand smoke.

"I think it's not healthy. I'm an ex-smoker," said Laguna Beach resident David Supowitz.

The ban would also include e-cigarettes and vapes.

"I'm 110 percent for it (the ban)," said Linda Supowitz of Laguna Beach. "I love Laguna Beach because they're trying to do this."

"I think a lot of it should be left up to the people," said Costa Mesa resident Bob Graham, as he and his wife walked down a Laguna Beach sidewalk.

"It's a personal responsibility," said Marylane Graham. "I think by banning it from everywhere, is taking away some of your personal freedom."

If eventually approved Laguna Beach would become the first city in Orange County with a citywide smoking ban.
Related Topics:
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