Smoking Ban in the Works for LA Parks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    El Tekolote via Flickr
    That cigarette butt could soon cost you, whether you smoke or not.

    The Board of Supervisors took a first step Tuesday toward banning smoking in Los Angeles county's 144 parks.

    An ordinance prohibiting smoking at all county parks will be drafted by the end of summer for the board's approval, based on recommendations from Parks and Recreation staffers in a April 7 report.

    The report also called for designated smoking areas at lease-operated facilities, including the county's 19 golf courses. The department recommended that driving ranges, putting and pitching greens and areas within 20 feet of buildings or at high fire risk be declared smoke-free.

    Smoking on the course, however, would be allowed under the department guidelines.

    Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who asked that the ordinance be drafted, said he regretted that something was not done sooner so that Angelenos could "enjoy the parks in the most crowded period smoke-free."

    He said he hoped the ordinance could be written faster than the mandated 90 days.

    "It's a good policy, a good recommendation," Supervisor Mike Antonovich said.

    A representative from the American Cancer Society, appearing before the board with other advocates of smoke-free parks, said lung cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, even though lung cancer deaths fell 26 percent between 1988 and 2002.

    The ordinance will be drafted by lawyers for the county, with input from the Parks and Recreation and Public Health departments and the chief executive officer.

    The city of Los Angeles enacted a smoke-free parks policy in 2007, following a blaze in Griffith Park.