O.C. officials push for beach smoking ban

Sept. 14, 2006 at 2:04 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Health and environmental officials in Orange County, Calif., are seeking a ban on smoking along the county's 7-mile coastline.

Smoking has already been outlawed at city beaches but a proposal to ban the cigarettes across the county's coast previously failed to win the approval of the county Harbors, Beaches and Parks Commission, which called the proposal unenforceable.

However, Holly Veale of the county Health Care Agency said officials were inspired to renew the push for a ban after the California Air Resources Board declared secondhand smoke a toxic air contaminant, the U.S. Surgeon General declared there to be no safe levels of secondhand smoke, and reports from city beaches revealed that bans had cut cigarette butt litter at the beaches, the Orange County Register reported Thursday.

Supervisor Tom Wilson, who has been leading the push for a ban, said he would not be discouraged if the commission rejects the measure.

"I'm hoping (the commission will) join with me in recommending the ban. Should they not, I'll probably bring it forward to the Board of Supervisors myself," he said.

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