From CNS: The Board of Supervisors voted today to prohibit smoking in County parks with some exceptions. Citing secondhand smoke as the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the board followed the Department of Parks and Recreation’s recommendation in voting in favor of the ban.
Smoking will be allowed in designated areas of recreational facilities run by outside contractors or lessees, such as golf courses and tennis courts. Special exceptions will also be made for actors in productions under permit or for models in permitted photography sessions.
Several advocates, including representatives from the American Lung and American Heart associations, appeared before the board in favor of the proposal.
According to the department’s report to the board, 52,000 non-smokers die of exposure to secondhand smoke in the U.S. each year. The medical and other costs to U.S. non-smokers suffering from lung cancer or heart disease total nearly $6 billion annually, according to the report.
Some contractors expressed concern that a complete smoking ban would hurt attendance and revenues. The department was unable to quantify the economic impact of a total ban, but suggested designated smoking areas in a compromise move.
In the video above, members of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Los Angeles County celebrate their victory and express gratitude to the Board of Supervisors.