On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that bans smoking on state-owned beaches and within the state’s park system.
S.B. 8 makes it an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $25 for a person to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system, or to dispose of used cigar or cigarette waste on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system unless the disposal is made in an appropriate waste receptacle. It contains an exemption to the ban for those smoking or using tobacco “in connection with the good faith practice of a religious belief or ceremony.”
The bill was introduced by introduced by Sen. Steve Glazer, D-7, and Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-10. It passed the Senate by a 28-10 vote and the Assembly by a 59-17 vote.
For supporters, it is a significant victory after several previous bills were vetoed by the state’s former governor, Jerry Brown, who criticized the bans as being an add-on to an extensive list of rules of what citizens can’t do, as well as acknowledging the vast open spaces of both parks and beaches.
The ban will be enforced in the affected beaches and parks only after signs have been posted at the individual locations.