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Is The ‘Twelfth Time’ The Charm?

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Sacramento, CA — California lawmakers are hot on the trail to try again to ban smoking at state parks and coastal beaches.

The state Senate voted 28-10 on Thursday to ban cigarettes, cigars, pipes and electronic smoking devices from those areas. Those who light up in a state park would be fined $25. However, the total could reach as high as $200 with additional penalties and assessments.

In the past 15 years, lawmakers have tried to pass this smoking ban nearly a dozen times, but all attempts have failed to become law. Several attempts were vetoed by former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown. Proponents hope current Governor Gavin Newsom will support and eventually sign the bill into law this time.

The measure includes exemptions related to people smoking for religious reasons, but does not specify what those practices would be or include. Enforcement would be left to park rangers and their discretion regarding religious beliefs.

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