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Any state park that does not have the money to buy no-smoking signs alerting visitors to the rules also would be exempt. It's not clear how many of California's 279 of state parks would be unable to erect such signs.
Parking lots at both beaches and parks also would be exempt. In all other areas of a state park, such as hiking trails or beaches, smoking would be an infraction punishable with a $100 fine.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation opposed the bill last year because of the cost to post signs. It no longer is taking a position, spokeswoman Sheryl Watson said.
The proposal continues to face opposition from the tobacco industry. Commonwealth Brands, the fourth-largest tobacco manufacturer in the U.S., said prohibitions like the one being proposed in California infringe on smokers' rights.
When asked for a comment about the bill, the company provided a letter it wrote to Oropeza addressing the bill that ultimately was defeated last year.
"We recognize that some nonsmokers may find tobacco smoke unpleasant or annoying, but we do not believe that the scientific evidence, often cited in isolation by health advocates, when taken as a whole is sufficient to establish that other people's tobacco smoke is a cause of any disease," said Anthony Hemsley, a company spokesman.
The letter did not address the litter or fire hazard concerns raised by the bill's advocates.
Oropeza, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2004, said secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen and that Californians have a right to breathe smoke-free air. Oropeza, who underwent surgery and chemotherapy, is now cancer-free.
"I think that people do have a right to smoke as long as it doesn't affect other people or cost the taxpayers more money to put out fires and do more coastal cleanup," she said.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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