Smokers Flaut City Ordinance

Critics say implementation lacking

On Jan. 2, the city's secondhand smoke ordinance went into effect.

"The bottom line: Smoking is prohibited in public spaces," the city stated in a release announcing the ordinance.

The decree forbids smokers from lighting up in all outdoor public places, including commercialarea sidewalks on Park and Webster streets and the smaller shopping districts that dot Alameda. Smoking is also forbidden in dining areas, recreation areas, service areas, shopping malls, outdoor events and within 20 feet of any enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.

Jon Spangler takes particular umbrage at the continuing presence of smokers on Park Street. His wife and business partner, Linda Hudson, has chronic asthma and serious allergies, making secondhand smoke a significant concern.

"I don't think these smokers are primarily folks who are ignoring or flouting the ordinance, but people who just do not know the smoking ban exists."

"The continuing presence of secondhand smoke is a real determinant of where we dine and shop, and where we can feel safe."

Spangler said. "Park Street is still not a safe place for our lungs." He said that he and his wife have encountered smokers puffing away on the public sidewalks, apparently in complete ignorance of the new ordinance.

Spangler points out that the city has not posted any signs informing the public about the ban. He said that smokers "have been universally surprised when I have told them that a no-smoking ban was in place as of January."

"Most have quickly complied with my request (to stop smoking)," he said. "But by then it is already too late for my wife."

The ordinance reaches past the shopping districts and prohibits smoking in all indoor and outdoor areas of employment. These include owner-operated businesses that are open to the public, as well as all vehicles used as a worksites, like taxicabs, tractors, trucks and buses.

The law also protects apartment and condominium dwellers.

It forbids smoking in all new multi-unit rental and commoninterest areas. Lighting up on a balcony or porch is also against the law.

In January, Mayor Marie Gilmore called the ordinance a significant step in protecting the public from the health dangers of secondhand smoke. "That's why we directed staff to prepare an A+ ordinance. The public needs to be protected."

Spangler said that the city needs to do more than just pass an ordinance.

"Until real implementation occurs — from signage and broad public education to enforcement efforts — the no-smoking ordinance will, unfortunately, not be worth the paper it was written on," he said.

 

Comments   

 
0 #4 smokefree 2012-09-19 15:13
Sounds as if Alameda has already provided a logical time period for businesses and residents to transition to this fabulous incentive to visit and conduct commerce in these outdoor commercial areas free from tobacco smoke.

All who are reading this should send a quick note to Mayor Gilmore asking that she takes step to resolve the smoking conditions that exist in commercial and other outdoor areas that were courageously made smokefree at the beginning of 2012.

Well, I see we have the same commenter who uses this section repeatedly to try and push his smoking nonsense propaganda attempting to create doubt and confusion about lethal effects of a known carcinogen rather than advertise as the other vendors do on this page.
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-1 #3 Michael J. McFadden 2012-09-10 17:43
New comment: The article notes: "umbrage at the continuing presence of smokers on Park Street. His wife and business partner has chronic asthma and serious allergies, making secondhand smoke a significant concern."

If they are TRULY concerned about involuntary smoke exposure on the street they should join a Free Choice organization to overturn the ban and move most of the smokers back inside those bars and restaurants that would choose to allow smoking.

Of course if they're simply Antismokers then such a solution wouldn't interest them. Let's see if they get active in working to amend the ban.

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
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-1 #2 Michael J. McFadden 2012-09-09 00:47
The article notes: "Jon Spangler takes particular umbrage at the continuing presence of smokers on Park Street. His wife and business partner, Linda Hudson, has chronic asthma and serious allergies, making secondhand smoke a significant concern."

If the Spangler/Hudson s are TRULY concerned about involuntary smoke exposure on the street they should join a Free Choice organization to overturn the ban and move most of the smokers back inside those bars and restaurants that would choose to allow smoking.

Of course if they're simply Antismokers then such a solution wouldn't interest them. Let's see if they get active in working to amend the ban.

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
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0 #1 Jaan Carter 2012-09-07 18:56
As a former smoker, I can very much understand the addiction. But I quit, almost 2 years ago, and that was after many tries. I had to change my life, who I spent time with, where I spent time, and what I did. It can be done! Most people just don't really want to stop, so they fail. Yes, I have compassion for that quandary. But I cannot tolerate smoke anymore. When I did smoke, I went away from others who didn't like. I want that for me, from the other side of things. I worked very hard to escape that hell, and I don't want to have it unwillingly cast upon me now. If you really respect yourself, you will quit. If you don't respect yourself, it's very unlikely you'll respect me, either. Amen.
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