Monday, March 19 , 2018, 1:57 pm | Fair 63º


Ban on Tobacco Use at County Parks Takes Effect This Week

The ordinance, approved in May, prohibits tobacco use at 70 parks, beaches and trails

A new law that restricts tobacco use in outdoor recreational areas owned and operated by the Santa Barbara County Parks Department is being implemented this week.

The ordinance was enacted by the county Board of Supervisors in May. The policy bans tobacco use at 70 parks, beaches and trails in the unincorporated areas of the county. The law excludes parks that allow overnight camping, namely Cachuma Lake and Jalama Beach.

The goal of the policy is to create a healthier, smoke-free and tobacco litter-free atmosphere in the outdoor recreational areas. Signs and a media campaign will be utilized to communicate the new law to the public.

County Parks and Public Health Department officials are excited about ushering in the summer with the new ordinance in place.

The Santa Barbara County Youth Corps is responsible for sign installation, which marks the first phase of the ordinance’s implementation. The program employs and trains out-of-school youths to work on this type of project. Signs are being installed in stages with all locations due to be signed by the end of June.

Public education will include print ads and radio spots in English and Spanish. County Web sites and public access TV also will be used to educate the public.

“This policy will improve the public’s health and the environment. Our department will continue education and outreach efforts about this policy,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, health officer and director of the county Public Health Department.

“I am proud to have sponsored this legislation, and feel that a tobacco-free environment will enhance our county’s spectacular outdoor areas,” county Supervisor Janet Wolf said.

For more information about the law and/or to get involved in outreach and education at neighborhood parks, contact Dawn Dunn at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Michele Mickiewicz is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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