Monday, August 1, 2011

Manhattan Beach Bans Smoking On The Strand

Manhattan Beach city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an ordinance to ban smoking cigarettes on The Strand and along Veterans Parkway/Greenbelt in Manhattan Beach. The ban will go into effect on October 10, said Christi Hogin, interim city attorney.

First time violators will be charged with a $50 fine, second-time violators, $100, according to the ordinance. Police will take into consideration those unaware of the ban or visiting the city from out of town, said Manhattan Beach Police Chief Eve Irvine.

“The Strand has become a designated smoking cigarettes area for people who know they can’t smoke cigarettes on the beach,” said Councilmember Wayne Powell, noting the dangers of secondhand smoke cigarettes and that The Strand is littered with cigarette butts.

Smoking or secondhand smoke cigarettes accounts for about 438,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Powell fought to put this ordinance on the city work plan, and notes that it’s a personal matter for him – his father died of lung cancer at 52, and his mother suffered from lung disease and died of a stroke. Both his parents were smokers, he said.

Councilmember Amy Howorth also mentioned that both of her parents died of smoking cigarettes-related diseases. “I’m really proud to do this,” she said.

Craig Cadwallader, resident and member of the Surfrider Foundation, spoke in favor of the ban. “The Strand has become a de facto smoking cigarettes room,” he said, later adding, “Cigarette butts are toxic to ocean life.”

In 2004, the council banned smoking cigarettes on the beach, pier and in parks and recreation areas.

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