Laguna Beach becomes first city in Orange County to ban smoking in town – Orange County Register

LAGUNA BEACH — The only place people will be allowed to smoke in this resort town will be inside their homes and cars.

On Tuesday, May 9, the City Council voted unanimously to expand its ban on smoking that already covers beaches and parks.

The new ordinance bans smoking throughout the city, including on sidewalks, bike paths, alleys and in parking structures. The ordinance is the first such restrictive ban in Orange County. It will go into effect after a second reading in 30 days.

The ban also applies to vapes and e-cigarettes. Last summer, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of tobacco bills that included these devices in the state’s smoking ban restriction. The ban would also apply to smoking marijuana in the same places tobacco smoking is prohibited.

There would be a $100 fine for first violation and up to $500 for third violation.

“This recognizes that smoking is a bad thing,” said Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede. “The ordinance is balanced because we’re still allowing smoking in some locations.”

At least 10 residents and two representatives from the American Lung Association gave the council their opinions. Most of the speakers spoke on behalf of the ordinance.

“I support the ban for two reasons; environmental impacts and second-hand smoke,” said Curran Hendrikson, a student at Laguna Beach High School. “The environment gets pretty trashed when people throw their cigarette butts on the ground. It all leads to the ocean.”

Hendrikson, a football player, said when he was younger he suffered from asthma and was afraid of it coming back because of his exposure to second-hand smoke.

Also, “I really don’t want to walk down the street and see cigarette butts in the gutter,” he said.

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