California moves toward beach smoking ban

May 15, 2009

The California State Senate passed a bill on Friday that would ban smoking at all state parks and beaches — and imposing a $100 fine for anyone caught lighting up on the sand.

Senate Bill 4 still awaits approval from the state Assembly, but seems destined to become law in the Golden State, which prides itself on its more than 400 beaches along over 1,100 miles of coastline — and its repuation as a leader in the green movement.

In fact more than 100 local governments in California already ban smoking on beaches and in parks.

State Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who introduced the bill, says on her Web site that cigarette butts are the most commonly found marine debris in the U.S. and make up 38 percent of all litter found on beaches.

8 comments

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Great move, no more cigarette butts!

Now how do you outlaw butt heads? They will all surely find something else to foul the beaches up with. Needles ,condoms, beer cans……

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

A cigarette butt weighs 0.00767 ounces.

In 2006 after the July 4 holiday, San Diego beach cleanup volunteers collected 8,000 pounds of trash and 45,000 cigarette butts. The 45,000 cigarette butts weighed 22 pounds, the weight of a cocker spaniel. 22 pounds of 8,000 pounds is three tenths of one percent, not 38 percent.

In 2007 after the July 4 holiday (and after the San Diego beach smoking ban was enacted) ,San Diego beach cleanup volunteers collected 9,000 pounds of trash and 20,000 cigarette butts. The 20,000 cigarette butts weighed 10 pounds, the weight of a house cat. 10 pounds of 9,000 pounds is one tenth of one percent, not 38 percent.

Mrs. Oropeza’s statement that cigarette butts make up 38 percent of all litter found on California beaches is a bit untruthful.

Posted by jsidney | Report as abusive

Just stop selling tobacco. No cig’s no smoking. Works for this nicotne addict. You get your clean beachs, smoke free bars, etc.. So just outlaw smoking. Problem is serious loss of tax revenue. I’m hearing Califorina nedds every dollar it can get.

We nicotine addicts will eventually get around to stop smoking. The real payback is us ex-smokers with our current and future respiratory problems after 10, 15, 20 years of smoking then quiting we will live much longer. Serious medicare, medicad money will be needed. Cann’t take my benefits away you all sued and by now spent the cigerette companys money concerning the social costs.

Why not just let me enjoy my smoking and die early?.

Is this about smoking or littering? Or maybe about a little payback for all those years you all had to put up with us smokers.

Think about it.

They didn’t measure it by weight, they worked out that percentage from either volume, or more likly but the number found. If smokers took their butts home with them they wouldnt have banned it. So its their own stupid, lazy fault.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Hi there jsidney – good point , however, she did not specify if it was by quantity or weight. She could mean that 38% of items found were cigarette butts – though she should specify.

Again, good catch.

Posted by Sebastian | Report as abusive

Now, legal and taxed cigarettes have been outlawed; NOW we can move on to legal and taxed fat people! Who’s with me!

Posted by DAVID | Report as abusive

The article “40 Tons of Trash Found On N.J. Beaches” by Fox News, April 28, 2007, reported the tallies of trash picked up on New Jersey beaches in 2006 by Clean Ocean Action beach cleanup volunteers. You can read the article by Googling the title.

Cigarette butts and cigar tips (27,083) were only 10 percent of the nearly 260,000 items collected.

Clean Ocean Action says that plastics are the most common items fouling the shoreline. Cigarette butts and cigar tips (27,083) accounted for 16 percent of the total 167,276 plastic items listed. Most of the remaining 84 percent of plastic items were food related.

Plastic caps and lids (32,328)
Fod wrappers or bags (27,147)
Cigarette butts (22,838)
Beverage bottles (15,373)
Miscellaneous pieces of plastic (14,479)
Straws or coffee stirrers (14,326)
Plastic foam pieces (13,286)
Shopping bags (6,349)
Eating utensils (5,902)
Six-pack rings (5,673)
Buckets or other large containers (5,330)
Cigar tips (4,245)

Mrs. Oropeza is taking vengeful punitive action against people who are responsible for only 10 percent of the total beach litter.

Posted by jsidney | Report as abusive