September 26, 2018
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of the State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1097 (Levine): State Beaches and Parks: Smoking Ban
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, respectfully requests your signature on legislation AB 1097 (Levine). This bill would ban smoking in state beaches and parks, except in certain areas designated by the director of the park.
Tobacco and secondhand tobacco smoke are highly hazardous to the health of anyone and especially to children. As stated in American Academy of Pediatrics policy, “There is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure. The developing brains of children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the development of tobacco and nicotine dependence.” Second-hand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children,including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It is also regarded as the third leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death. Approximately 600,000 non-smokers die per year due to second-hand smoke exposure.
This bill would allow for further steps in protecting children and youth from exposure to tobacco or secondhand smoke, including the enactment of comprehensive smoking bans to prevent “not only exposure to children of tobacco product emissions but also exposure to modeling of tobacco product use and nicotine consumption behavior” (“Public Policy to Protect Children From Tobacco, Nicotine, and Tobacco Smoke,” Pediatrics, Nov. 2015).
AB 1097 (Levine) would make sure that children who frequent state beaches and parks are not exposed to secondhand smoke or inadvertently encouraged to use tobacco by seeing adults doing the same. A reduction in littered cigarettes would also potentially reduce wildfires in state parks, thus improving air quality and benefiting children who suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Pediatricians across the state strongly support AB 1097 (Levine) and urge your signature. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Assembly Member Levine; Members and Committee Staff, Assembly Appropriations Committee; AAPCA Leadship; Lydia Bourne, Lobbyist