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Calif. Senate passes park smoking ban

May 15, 2009 6:44:03 AM PDT
California is closer to becoming the first state to ban smoking at all state parks and beaches. The State Senate Friday approved a bill that would impose a $100 fine on anyone caught smoking at parks and beaches.

Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who introduced the bill, says health is not the only issue. She's also concerned about protecting the marine environment and preventing fires.

"Statistically, for the last three years over 100 fires a year have been created as a result in our state parks because of smoking, because of cigarettes," Oropeza said.

In addition, cigarette butts are the most commonly found marine debris in the U.S. They make up 38 percent of all litter found on our beaches.

More than 100 local governments in California already ban smoking at parks and beaches.

The state park smoking ban bill now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

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