MONTEREY, Calif. - If you stop by the beach you can expect to find dozens of cigarette butts buried in the sand. "I see them every day at the beach or along the trails," said visitor, Jeff Akens.
Starting January 1, 2020, smoking at a beach or park could cost you. A new law signed by governor Gavin Newsom will ban smoking and vaping at all California State Parks and Beaches.
"I think it's a good law. Unfortunately, not everyone is responsible. This is Monterey. We want to keep our environment nice and clean," said visitor, Alfonso Cruz.
Central Coast district Assemblymember, Mark Stone, co-authored the bill. Officers can fine up to $25 for smoking or tossing a smoking product on a state beach or park. The bill states this is an effort to prioritize public health and the environment.
"That's probably a little harsh, but without harshness nobody is going to learn," said visitor, Chris Alexander.
Alexander is a smoker, but said he doesn't have a problem with the new rule. "They should put them in their pockets. Pick up the trash if you make trash. It's that easy," said Alexander.
California State Parks will be required to post new signs warning people of the ban.
"That is a good enough warning. Let them know not to do it again. I think it's a good thing," said Akens.
The ban will not apply to parking lots and paved roadways at state parks and beaches.