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Proposed Smoking Ban on L.A. Beaches

October 23, 2003

The Times' argument against my proposal to ban smoking on city beaches is reminiscent of the arguments against a similar proposal to ban smoking in L.A. restaurants a decade ago (editorial, Oct. 20). Not only did that law avoid the enforcement headaches that the editorial fears, it successfully changed attitudes about where it is socially acceptable to smoke and leave butts -- precisely my goal here.

If a ban on smoking at the beach reduces smoking and eliminates related litter and health hazards, that is worthwhile. Also, a ban on smoking at the beach empowers parents and others to stand up to smokers who would otherwise ignore common courtesy. The Times takes a gratuitous shot at the City Council's recent measure banning smoking in areas of our parks. There are now "No Smoking" signs in some bleachers at city Little League fields. How anyone other than a tobacco industry executive could find fault with that is beyond me.

Jack Weiss

L.A. City Council

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