Los Angeles County - bans smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces..

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September 23, 2009 - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Tuesday banning smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces, with some exceptions.

The board voted 4-1, with Supervisor Don Knabe in opposition, to adopt the proposal at its meeting. The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who proposed the ban, supported the ordinance mostly for health reasons. Secondhand (SHS, passive smoking, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) smoke leads to the deaths of 52,000 non-smokers, according to a memorandum presented to the board by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

Under the ordinance, movie and photo shoots are exempt with a proper permit. Another exemption of the ban allows county golf courses, “contract-operated facilities,” to designate areas where smoking is permitted. The courses’ open spaces, such as the holes, are expected to remain open for smokers. Smoking will likely be banned at the driving ranges, putting greens or areas near buildings.

The financial impact on law enforcement is expected to be “minimal” since each park will include the smoking ban with other rules they enforce, officials said. The ban will turn offenses into misdemeanors that may include fines or short jail time, officials said.

About $36,000 is expected to be spent for signs and supplies at the parks, according to a county memo. An additional $12,750 is planned to fund an educational outreach campaign and smoking cessation classes.

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Reference: Los Angeles County bans smoking at public parks, golf courses by admin (james.wagner@sgvn.com), CigarettesReviews.com, 9/23/2009.