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Smoking ban for L.A. county parks planned; actors exempted [Updated]

Smokers beware: In addition to being banned from bars, beaches, bus stops, restaurants and government buildings, you are about to get booted from county parks and golf courses.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky wants to ban smoking at the county’s 144 parks and 17 golf courses in “an effort to safeguard the public from potential exposure to secondhand smoke.”

On Tuesday, the supervisor plans to ask county officials to draft a law enacting the ban and return to the board for a vote within three months.

Public Health Director Dr. Jonathan Fielding and Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney endorsed the ban, with one exception sure to please the Hollywood crowd: Actors will still be allowed to smoke in the parks, as long as they are being filmed.

County officials estimate the ban will cost about $49,000, mostly to post signs in the parks advertising the new law.

It’s not clear how much money the county stands to lose by driving away golfers who smoke on the links. Golf course revenue topped $13.8 million last year, about 35% of parks department operating revenue.

When the city of Los Angeles banned smoking at its parks and four Griffith Park golf courses two years ago, they did not lose much money, according to Fielding and Guiney’s report.

Several California cities and counties already prohibit smoking in parks, including Cerritos, Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Diego, San Francisco and San Mateo.

Earlier this month, the state Senate passed a bill to ban smoking at state parks and beaches; that measure is pending in the Assembly.

California cities and counties were some of the first to expel smokers from restaurants and government buildings during the 1990s, and the success of the statewide ban on workplace smoking in 1998 has been credited with spreading similar bans nationwide.

[Updated at 4:05 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Supervisor Michael Antonovich also proposed the ban.]

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Comments () | Archives (19)

This state cracks me up-you are drowing in red ink and you pull the noose tighter!! Good Job California!! Nobody wants to bail you out because of how utterly ridiculous you are , daily!!Maybe you are in a bubble ,but you need to burst it and come into the real world. Personal responsiblitiy, Worshipping the Creation instead of the Creator,Taxes out of control!! You are like an evil den that nobody wants to get caught in!! If there is such a thing as Good ,which i believe there is -there has to be a counterpart and California fits the bill.You might have the sunshine-but it has hit the garbage too long and it is stinking up the place!! Reform California!!!NOW!!

The city banned smoking at the Griffith Park Golf Courses? You could have fooled me... There are signs all over the place at those courses, that say "Smoking Permitted".

And anyone who takes a walk along the course at ANY of those courses, will see the evidence, and likely the smokers, live and in person.

No wonder no one knew about the ban, the city sure doesn't have $50,000 for signage, I doubt the county does either.

I dont believe outdoor second hand smoke exposure has been linked to any health problems. I am not a smoker but I think this is going a little too far.

Why cant they just ban smoking in public all together instead of doing it in bits and pieces and dragging it out over decades?
They banned alcohol in public.They never banned alcohol one area at a time.They just banned it outright everywhere at once.
Alcohol doesnt poison other people within a drinkers vicinity like smoking does.

They would have had better luck if they made smoking on the course a 10 stroke penalty, enforced by your golfing buddy.

Personally, I support this ban. When I go outside into the park, I want FRESH air. Cigarettes are disgusting, and I don't want to have to smell them.

I'd love to see the medical study showing how secondhand smoke in AN OPEN AREA is dangerous. Oh wait, there is no such study. These two numbskulls have lost my vote.

In the many plays where I have seen actors smoke, it has rarely added anything to the play. I think these exceptions for actors need to be eliminated.

I agree with the ban. Its not just about health issue but about the unpleasant smell of cigarettes and the fact that smokers leave the butts everywhere they go. smoking kills =)

Just get an electronic cigarette. No tobacco, no fire hazard, no odor and cheaper!
I found this great quick introduction to electronic cigarettes http://www.ecigarettes365.com/new

just e-smoke :)

There's a smoking ban at the Griffith Park golf courses??? Really? I was in a foursome a couple of weeks ago at the Harding course and two of the guys were smoking cigars. The course marshal didn't seem to care when he told us to speed up play. Next time I'll insist that the marshal enforces the law and throws those scuzzy smelling smokers off the course! Oh! I forgot to mention that we were playing "skins" at $.50 a hole and I won fourteen "skins" off those scuzzy smelling smokers. The money I won offset the difference I had to pay in green fees for being a non-resident of LA. city. Go stick that in your Yaroslavsky and smoke it!

There HAS been proof of the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor studies. At least three studies in the U.S. and Canada have proven it. Did you ever sit next to someone smoking on an outdoor patio and smelled the smoke before you actually saw them smoking? Guess what...that means you are breathing their toxins. The train has already left the station on this people. Smoke-free beaches, parks and other public spaces are now the norm. Our families should be able to play in smoke and cigarette-butt free parks.

The LA City Ban is a joke -- never enforced! The LAPD is too busy harassing fruit sellers and jaywalkers .. beating latinos and whatnot.

As usual, it is all about the poor "smokers". I have yet to meet someone who needs to smoke more than I need to breathe. This article makes a FALSE statement. SMOKERS are NOT banned EVER from being in a non-smoking venue, be it a bar, a restaurant, or a park. It is like saying that people who play loud music or who like to eat hamburgers are banned. THE BEHAVIOR of SMOKING is banned. NOT the PERSON! Smoking is a behavior (like pooping) which should not be allowed in ANY public place. It KILLS 63,000 NON smokers each year in the U.S. alone. There is no "right to kill" in the US constitution. Tobacco KILLS over 500,000 Americans who 'choose" to smoke. Therefore SMOKING is ILLEGAL! Just because the government takes billions of dollars from the tobacco industry to keep it on the market, does NOT make it a "right". Ecoli killed ONE person and ALL spinach was recalled. Tobacco KILLS when used as it is supposed to be used! RECALL TOBACCO!!!!

I found an Electronic Cigarette that allows me to smoke in banned areas and I really like it. The reason is because when you exhale there is no smoke only vapor and they allow you to choose the level of nicotine that you want. Friday on CNN they did a piece on the Electronic Cigarettes and said the same thing plus a number of other positive points.
If you want to check it out go to this link


This is a joke! Even the Nazis didnt try to ban smoking in outdoor places! What has the world come to when people are bothered about things like that! Its pathetic and completly against human rights.

They'd better ban barbecues and campfires too, because they put out a helluva lot more secondhand smoke than cigarettes.

It's true California is a leader in how to be liberal in all aspects of a persons life, and they keep proving it with things like this... ban this bad habit and tax it at the same time so they can put more money into our bankrupt state account.
I have an allergy to cigarette smoke, and I quit cigarettes 30 years ago, but surprisingly not to cigars or cigar smoke. I enjoy an occasional cigar on my front porch every once in awhile, as well as special occasions like at a family BBQ, but mostly I enjoy them when playing golf. Because of my allergy to cigarette smoke I am always aware of possible similar reactions by others so I make it a point to ask anyone new I am playing golf with if they are bothered by cigars. If they say yes, I would oblige and not smoke. If no complaints I strike it up and enjoy. BTW: Since I started this, about 15 years ago, I have only met two people who objected and I play a lot of golf. Perhaps I have been lucky but more importantly I am allowed my pleasurable times with my cigars and I really would like California to quit trying to rule everything that goes on in my personal life, whether it be how I raise my family, my guns, my religion, or my cigars. California please butt out!

I am in two minds about this - in some ways it seems like we are living in even more of a big brother state than ever before... Banning smoking aoutside would have provoked laughter 20 years ago...!

On the flip side, I personally have benefited from the bans - I stopped smoking in bars (a massive help) and after a period on the electronic cigarettes I managed to give up completely.

I guess sometimes the state knows best!


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