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Mixed reactions over beach, park smoking ban

Smokers and non-smokers at Ocean Beach have mixed reactions to the new smoking ban on San Diego city beaches and parks. KPBS Radio's Andrew Phelps was there.

Champions of the smoking ban say it will protect people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. But Shane Hardin, a non-smoker, does not understand the health risk.

Hardin: "I think it's dumb - not dumb - but it doesn't make any sense because we're on the beach. It's outside."

Mary Ganem agrees. She is a non-smoker visiting from Phoenix.

Ganem: "Well I mean you're sitting on the beach and the wind is blowing. You'd have a hard time selling second-hand smoke right here."

Ganem supports the ban, though. So does Renee Kelleher, who was puffing on a cigarette on her beach towel.

Ganem: "I don't necessarily like it, but I definitely think it's a good idea. So why is that? Um, smoking is unhealthy. But I see you smoking right now. Right "

The ban takes effect mid-August. For KPBS, I'm Andrew Phelps.

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