January 14, 2018
The Honorable Gonzalez-Fletcher
Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SUPPORT AB 1097 (Levine): State Beaches and Parks: Smoking Ban
Dear Assembly Member Gonzalez-Fletcher,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed 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.”
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, which “prevents 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 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