General Crime

* Smoking Ban Outside In Santa Cruz California

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Santa Cruz residents are no longer allowed to smoke outdoors in certain areas of the city under a new ban that took effect this week.A new ordinance, approved by the City Council on Sept. 22, prohibits smoking on Pacific Avenue, Beach Street between the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf and Third Street, and West Cliff Drive.”Research is showing that secondhand smoke is a serious health problem,” Councilwoman Katherine Beiers said. “Many, many people from the community have asked for this over the years and finally we have the support to do this.”Smoking is also now illegal in city parks, on the Municipal Wharf and in all outdoor dining areas in the city.The new rules will bump up the number of smoke-free hotel rooms in the city, increasing the percentage from 75 to 90 percent. Smoking is also prohibited within 25 feet of business entryways and windows.Public reaction to the ordinance has been overwhelmingly positive, Beiers said.Violators will receive a warning during the first month of the new law but may be fined after that. “We’re certainly not going to have police out there spending any extra time, but as they see it they’ll enforce it,” Beiers said.

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