BUENA PARK, Calif. — The city of Buena Park is gearing up for a significant crackdown on smoking within its limits, aiming to implement a comprehensive ban on tobacco products in outdoor dining spaces, multi-unit residential developments and public areas like sidewalks.

What You Need To Know

  • Pending final approval, Buena Park plans to enforce a wide-ranging ban on tobacco products in outdoor dining spaces, multi-unit residential developments, and public areas like sidewalks

  • The city intends to introduce a six-month awareness phase to help residents and visitors adapt to the new regulations before imposing fines on violators

  • The smoking ban is driven by concerns about the dangers of secondhand smoke, particularly in public areas where individuals are exposed to harmful pollutants

  • The ban has sparked debates regarding personal freedoms and public health, with smokers expressing concerns about potential infringements on their choices while proponents argue for the long-term health benefits and protection of the community

If approved, this sweeping initiative will have a significant impact on the smoking habits of residents and visitors alike.

The city’s initial approach will focus on raising awareness rather than imposing fines during the first six months of implementation.

The move to ban smoking in some public spaces comes in response to growing concerns over the health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

“When people are standing at the bus stop, when they’re on the sidewalk, when they’re on the playground, they’re getting this puff of secondhand smoke that’s very hazardous to people,” explained Gabriel Hill, a tobacco control advocate at the Institute for Public Strategies.

The potential ban on tobacco products represents a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to reduce nicotine use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although current smoking rates have declined from 20% in 2005 to nearly 12% in 2021, the use of e-cigarettes and vape devices remains prevalent among individuals aged 18 to 24.

Critics argue the ban encroaches upon personal freedoms, raising concerns among smokers like Peter Yang, who currently smokes seven cigarettes a day.


“I’m against it because I am a smoker, but we have rules, laws, so we have to follow in order not to be fined or put in jail,” he said.

For individuals like Yang, who are attempting to quit smoking, the ban may provide an added incentive to kick the habit for good. However, some smokers expressed concerns about the lack of designated areas where they can smoke without affecting others.

The proposed smoking ban in Buena Park has already received overwhelming support from residents during public hearings.

In March, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the amendment.

To ensure compliance, violators may face fines of up to $500.

As the city awaits the final approval of the smoking ban, both proponents and opponents of the measure eagerly expect the outcome.

If successful, Buena Park’s initiative may serve as a model for other communities striving to create healthier and smoke-free environments.