Smoking in Redondo Beach File photo

A plan to ban smoking from Redondo Beach's public areas—the sidewalks, alleys and parking lots—is moving ahead. (File Photo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Redondo Beach City Council this week unanimously approved a citywide smoking ban in public places — with certain exceptions for designated areas, residential properties and moving vehicles.

With the vote, Redondo Beach joined neighboring cities in taking a tough stance against smoking.

The council, by a vote of 3-2, also chose to implement a local tobacco retail permit for the 44 licensed sellers of tobacco products in the city. The city also moved to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. Councilmen John Gran and Nils Nehrenheim opposed the motion.

Fees for the permit were not set during the Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting, though discussion indicated it could be about $50.

The new law will also extend to electronic smoking devices and marijuana smoke. Current law prohibits traditional smoking in parks, beaches and the pier.

The ordinance will still require another vote before becoming law. The smoking ban will take effect 30 days after the final vote and the retail license will become a requirement in a year.

“I certainly think it’s urgent,” said Mayor Bill Brand. “Here I am getting radiation treatment for lung cancer that’s spreading to my back and causing pain. I’m saddened that Redondo Beach is so far behind on this and we should be moving a lot faster.”

Councilwoman Laura Emdee questioned whether such a prohibition can even be enforced and asked to make it a priority. By comparison, when the council passed a ban on leaf blowers, the lack of enforcement allowed many gardeners to continue using them, she said.

“It’s odd to do something that has no teeth,” Emdee said. “We learned our lesson with leaf blowers. If you don’t have enforcement, then what’s the point?”

The council first gave direction to staff they wanted a complete public smoking ban in September 2018 and voted again on the matter in May 2019.

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