Wondering if you can smoke or vape on the beach in California? A newly expanded bill in Laguna Beach, California, is upsetting local vapers as the ban on vaping spreads throughout their city. The newest expansion of the vape ban in California means that vaping will not be allowed in any public place throughout the city, forcing vapers back into their homes and cars.
Both business owners and residents are feeling the pinch of the new legislation already, and have asked for more time to offer alternatives.
Bans on smoking in public places are not new. More than 70 cities across California already have smoking bans in place. However, the addition of e-cigarettes and vaporizers to those existing bans has major ramifications, especially for those who are using vaping as an alternative to smoking.
In addition, the major downtown areas of Laguna Beach and Manhattan Beach are very congested. As a result, many people choose to use public transportation when visiting local bars and restaurants, but that leaves them nowhere to smoke or vape, even after hours.
Beyond the locals, many people are worried that tourists will feel less welcome in the cities where smoking and vaping have been banned altogether. Since these beaches draw travelers from around the world, and many places where smoking is generally accepted, it may be off-putting to visitors.
What's Coming Next
The expanded Laguna Beach ban is slated to go into effect June 23rd. In the meantime, the city has funded an outreach campaign to try and inform residents about the coming legislation and how it will affect them. The new rules come with a $100 fine to start and increase up to $500 in fines for repeated infractions.
However, even those who voted in favor of the legislation have seen that it could have a negative impact on the economy of restaurants and bars downtown. Thus, several proposals have popped up to create exemptions after 9 p.m. in certain parts of the Laguna Beach. The council has suggested that they will be open to making some changes to the rules in the future once they see how the initial ban affects businesses and the community as a whole.
Many other cities within Orange County are working on similar legislation as well. With the summer beach season upon us, many municipal beaches are seeking to roll out new rules before travel season is in full swing. Vapor advocates are calling upon city councils to slow down and take more time to consider options that help people enjoy their time at the beach rather than pushing them away.