Laguna Beach Bans Smoking Almost Everywhere

Donald Traill/Invision/AP
Donald Traill/Invision/AP

In approximately 30 days, the only place Laguna Beach residents and visitors will be able to smoke legally will be in their cars or homes.

“This is in response to council direction and to desire in our community,” Councilman Bob Whalen said during a May 9 City Council meeting and vote that expanded the smoking ban. “We’re imposing the will of people in Laguna,” he said, according to the Orange County Register.

On Tuesday, the waterfront beach community’s City Council voted unanimously to ban smoking (including of vapes and e-cigarettes) throughout the entire city. Smoking marijuana is also prohibited in the ban.

According to the Register, the initial ban covered beaches and parks. This new ordinance will also include a ban on smoking on sidewalks, bike paths, alleys and in parking structures.

“The ordinance is the first such restrictive ban in Orange County,” notes the OC Register.

Anyone who violates this will first be hit with a $100 fine and up to $500 for a third violation.

Laguna Beach first implemented a smoking ban in 1985. It has reportedly expanded that ban six times since it was first implemented. A citywide survey on a range of topics taken last summer indicated that 75 percent of Laguna Beach residents approved the idea of a citywide ban on smoking. Laguna Beach put its first smoking ban in effect in 1985, and has broadened it six times since then.

Despite the stricter laws, Laguna Beach does not have California’s strictest smoking laws.

In 2013, the city of San Rafael passed what was recognized as California’s strictest ordinance by prohibiting smoking in residences with shared walls, including for both renters and home owners. The ban reportedly covered any multi-family residence with three or more units, including condominiums, co-ops and apartments.

During this week’s City Council meeting in Laguna Beach, Mayor Toni Iseman expressed her concern about smoking on private property. TheRegister notes that she suggested the city invest in devices that would operate like a kitchen fan to suck smoke up as it’s being exhaled. She reportedly added, “I think every rehab and sober-living house should have at least three of those.”

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