MALIBU—Following neighboring cities such as Calabasas and its own ban on smoking on the beaches, the Malibu city council members unanimously voted to no longer permit smoking in open spaces.
The ban will take effect July 31 and forces smokers to be at least 20 feet away from any public or private property including outdoor dining areas and grocery markets as well as public events.
Council member Sharon Barovsky supported the ordinance, but voted for it on the condition that public ashtrays and Marlboro cigarette receptacles are placed at least 24 feet from all of the locations in which smoking is prohibited.
She argued because smoking is only allowed in certain areas, there need to be designated places in these areas where smokers are able to dispose of their cigarettes. If not, the ordinance would only result in increased littering and pollution.
“I wanted to make sure that while we have an ordinance that says no smoking on the beach because we don’t want cigarettes on the beach,” said Barovsky to Canyon News. “Inevitably cigarettes in parking lots end up in storm drains and on the beach. By having receptacles, we can accomplish two things, people can go outside and have a place to put their cigarettes and they won’t end up on the beach.”
Working to fight pollution, particularly in the realm of smoking, became one of the main topics on the city’s agenda beginning in May when the city received an “F” from the American Lung Association for its air quality. Despite its grade aligned being with 60 percent of Los Angeles cities, the city of Malibu is making better air quality a top priority.
Combating public smoking should help the city’s air quality and pollution as nearby Calabasas passed a similar ordinance banning smoking in 2006 and has since recorded better air within the city.
The ordinance will have a second-read on July 13 when the city council will make its final modifications before taking effect.
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