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City to Crack Down on Smokers

Apr 08, 2015 04:04PM ● Published by DigMB Staff

Mayor Amy Howorth kick-offs Manhattan Beach's public awareness campaign to inform the public of the city's new Smoke-Free Public Places law.

Last summer, the City of Manhattan Beach launched its Breathe Free MB campaign in an effort to protect public health and the marine environment from the effects of cigarettes. Now, the city intends to put more teeth into the ordinance, with citations being issued beginning Monday, April 13, following one week of written warnings.

Manhattan Beach adopted an ordinance prohibiting smoking, including electronic cigarettes, in all outdoor public places (MBMC 4.116.030), launching the Breathe Free MB educational campaign in July to alert residents and businesses to the ban on smoking in public. Signs and street banners were installed to spread the message not to smoke in public.

The ordinance became enforceable on August 18, 2014, and city officials had hoped enforcement would be self-enforced, with individuals voluntarily opting not to smoke when asked or upon seeing signs and ads about the campaign. 

City officials say self-enforcement has not worked as well as they would have liked, with complaints being received from repeat locations, chiefly among employees of businesses who are opting to smoke in public. 

Citations will be issued by City Code Enforcement staff and the Police Department. Local businesses have been notified to remind their employees about the city's smoke-free policy, which allows smoking only in the following permitted locations:

  • Private residential property, other than those used as a child-care or health-care facility subject to State licensing requirements;
  • In up to 20% of guest rooms in any hotel or motel that meets certain conditions; or
  • Within a moving vehicle.

Violations of the smoking ordinance are considered infractions of the City’s municipal code. Citation for first offenses can go up to $100. Subsequent offenses can cost as much as $500. Police officers will use their discretion when dealing with visitors/tourists who may be unaware of the ordinance. 

In addition, disposal of cigarettes on the street is illegal (as is all littering) and will not be tolerated, say city officials.

Questions on the Breathe Free MB campaign and other environmental subjects can be directed to Sona Coffee, the city’s Environmental Programs Manager, at (310) 802-5341 or scoffee@citymb.info.


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