News

Revolt by smokers fails to sway council

Smokers, bar owners and patrons protest expansion of outdoor smoking ban

The Mountain View City Council passed a strict new smoking ban Tuesday, despite strong opposition from patrons and owners of the city's bars and night clubs.

After seeing the council's close 4-3 vote in favor of the new ban on Jan. 24., regular Molly McGee's patron and cigar smoker Jim Neal was inspired to circulate a petition in the city's bars in the hopes of swaying at least one member of the City Council to change sides at the Feb. 14 final vote. He gathered 1,083 signatures on his petition. Objecting to the closure of smoking patios attached to their bars, opponents raised the specter of mobs of smokers gathering in parking lots behind downtown bars, littering, creating problems for police and even putting women in danger of sexual assault.

But council members did not change their minds and voted 4-3 again to approve the ban in a required "second read" of the new ordinance on Feb. 14.

Council member Jac Siegel, who based his decision to approve the ban on the effects of second-hand smoke on employees, said he continued to believe it was a "health and safety issue." Council member Ronit Bryant said the "same discussion took place when smoking was banned in restaurants." People were saying "I can't enjoy my food without a smoke. But now people manage to eat without smoking."

The new ban goes into effect in 90 days and levies a $50 citation for anyone smoking within 25 feet of the outdoor patios, windows or doors of workplaces, restaurants and any publicly accessible building where smoking is already banned. That covers wide swaths of the city, including most of Castro Street, where smoking would only be allowed for those walking from one destination to another.

Nick Chaput, owner of Dana Street Coffee Roasting and president of the Central Business Association, said that he has a designated smoking table in front of his coffee shop that people complain about on occasion, and which he may now have to police for smokers or face a citation from police. "There are too many things with this not thought all the way through," Chaput said in opposition to the ordinance. "You are asking us now to be police and enforce the rules and we have enough to deal with on our working day."

Council members John Inks, Tom Means and Laura Macias sided with the owners, some of whom fear they will lose business from people like Neal, who say they will go to bars in other cities.

"They have a challenge running their business on a day-to-day basis," Macias said. "Asking them to monitor smokers makes it tougher to run a small business."

The council also heard from several supporters of the ban, including a woman who said she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from breathing second-hand smoke. "I have a right to not have my life shortened by people abusing their rights," she told the council.

Rob Graham, owner of a bar called Sports Page, said the woman could chose not to go to his bar. He says he has a 6,000-square-foot patio that will be completely off-limits to smokers under the ban, even though portions are more than 25 feet from the building.

"I should have the liberty to run my business the way I see fit," said Jackie Graham, Rob's wife.

Katy Rose, spokeswoman for the restaurant and hotel workers union UNITE HERE Local 15, said that the people whose job it is to serve smokers have no choice in the matter. "I urge you to think about this issue as a worker safety issue."

The creation of the ordinance was funded with a $53,788 grant from Santa Clara County to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke, $14,000 of which is an expense some have questioned: new cigarette-butt receptacles on Castro Street.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charles Rossman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

What will the smokers demand next? That they be allowed to smoke in my house?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Better analogy: What will non smokers demand next? That they can come into our homes to stop us from smoking?
We all (still) have the right to either patronize establishments or not. We are all (still) free to choose careers siutable for ourselves. When smoke in a bar becomes offensive, take some reponsibility for yourself and go elsewhere.
I personally do not smoke, and find it disgusting. But not nearly as disgusting as big brother and the do-good socially conscious busybodies pretending they know what's best for everyone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Well I hope the city council is out there to pick up all the cigarette butts of the sidewalks and parking lots


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I am not a smoker, in fact I'm rather anti-smoking, but I think this is ridiculous.

Business owners should be free to determine whether or not they will cater to customers who smoke, based on how it would help or hurt their business. Some businesses may see more profit from banning smokers, but others may see less. It isn't the city council's place to decide that for them.

Californians are spoiled. After living here for some years, it's now kind of a shock to travel to another state, walk into a restaurant, and be asked "smoking or non-smoking?" I can't help but pause involuntarily and go "huh?" We just take it for granted that restaurants are non-smoking.

I remember in the 1990s while living in Virginia, a middle-upscale restaurant took a risky (for that time) gamble and eliminated their smoking section entirely. They were pleasantly surprised that they became suddenly more profitable.

For a bar, on the other hand, the story might be different, especially one that caters to older folks. The point is that the owner should decide, not the city council.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cindy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Wow with Google giving the City Council all kinds of money for every empty property in sight, I am surprised that they needed 53,000 minus 14,000 for ashtrays after they have banned smoking? I would bet every City Council member drove to that meeting in a car. If I were a smoker I would make it a point to just walk up and down Castro and smoke anyway. Going to my destination.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Victor E
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Who is going to tell Ozzy Osbourne or any talent at Shoreline Amphitheater they can't smoke?Please send me notification before this social engineering is foisted upon the headliners or their staff,I can hardly wait .


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rob Graham Bar owner
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I respect everyone's right to dislike second hand smoke.No body is asking you to be exposed to SHSmoke. This ordinance takes SHSmoke from controlled patios and puts it back on public streets.The comments are a great form of dialogue,but you should know what the ordinance was about before you agree with it!There will be MORE SHSmoke exposure now that this has been passed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Wow, you can buy/deny a persons rights in Mountain View for $53,000
Guess that's cheaper than our politicians,
Oh that was our politicians.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bren
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you to those City Council-members who voted for the ban. I will remember next election. As a Registered Nurse, parent and health conscious individual, I respect and support this action.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rob Graham Bar owner
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I have operated this business for more than 20 years at this location.
I have NEVER had a SHSMOKE related complaint.
Call the Mt View Police Dept or City Code Enforcement Dept and they will confirm that they have had no SHSmoke complaints in the last year.
Mountain View City Council chose to ignore 1083 signatures because 4 members know what best for us as citizens and as business owners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rob Graham Bar owner
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

To Bren, Do you even know what the ordinance was about?Do you know how this decision will impact you? I don't think so.

PS Im a parent and a health conscious individual and I would never force you to accept exposure to SHSmoke


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

So now the single parking lot behind St. Stephen's Green, Molly MaGee's, Zen Lounge & Alberto's will be the only place that patrons of those businesses will be able to smoke to be over the 25 foot rule... and since they'll all be away from those businesses, they are no longer the responsibility of the security provided by those businesses. Having 20-40 drunk people in the back parking lot with no security... what could go wrong?

Who's going to pay for the extra police that will need to babysit that parking lot?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cindy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Well Rob I would say that the 1083 signatures are a very good start. Keep it up and get enough signatures to oust the the current City Council members.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

What's next, ban all selling of chocolate, alcohol, sodas being sold 50 miles near a school? No burning wood in peoples homes in there fireplace?

This is just the beginning of restricting personal freedoms.

Sign me up for the petition.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Tell your friends.Lets get the socialists out. Lets take a lesson from Bren's comments earlier.
WE WILL REMEMBER NEXT ELECTION
PS The mayor's term expires in 11 months and he may be seeking re election this November


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carter C
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

The ordinance didn't go far enough; all smoking in public should be banned. Why should smokers have the right to put everyone else's health at risk just to feed their addictions? Smoke at home, if you must, but don't endanger my health by forcing your second-hand smoke on me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

To Carter C. I respect your opinion and agree with you but you should read the ordinance before you comment. You will now be exposed to more smoking .


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carter C
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

@Will: my point exactly. The ordinance doesn't go far enough; council should have banned all smoking in public.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

WAKE UP SMOKERS. You need to immediately file a lawsuit to have ANYONE prove that the second hand smoke has ever harmed anyone from a distance of 10 or more feet.
#1 Has anyone ever heard of parts per million? At that distance it's probably closer to parts per billion. Have the complainers prove different
#2 The body's mechanism works miracles. It actually heals itself and eliminates what should not be there. You know what I mean without me explaining it.
#3 Too many hamburgers may kill you. Too many shakes may kill you. Second hand smoke in your face at close range, in a room may kill you. Most of us 50+ grew up with parents/aunts/siblings that smoked all their lives and this second hand smoke was created not too long ago for 1 purpose. TO GET RID OF CIGARETTES. I don't smoke, but you should stand up and demand your rights NOW, before most of you lose your businesses to a bunch of stretched truths.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob Johnson
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

90 days, a textbook ban. If you google "fundamentals of smokefree workplace laws" you will see the 90 day rule in their instruction book.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by HB
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Nothing like the taste of a fine cigarette, cigar or pipe after a good meal. The sensation can be euphoric, as well as a great stress reliever and good weight controller.

For all you prejudice people out there that think second hand smoke kills, your dead wrong. If that was the case my brothers and sister would all be dead at the rate our parents smoked. Moderation is the key to all good things.

Interesting facts that goes against the grain of popular thought.

Mme Jeanne Calment, who was listed as the world's oldest human whose birth date could be certified, died at 122. She had begun smoking as a young woman. At 117 she quit smoking (by that age she was just smoking two or three cigarettes per day because she was blind and was too proud to ask often for someone to light her cigarettes for her). But she resumed smoking when she was 118 because, as she said, not smoking made her miserable and she was too old to be made miserable. She also said to her doctor: "Once you've lived as long as me, only then can you tell me not to smoke." Good point! [USA Today, "Way to go, champ," 10/18/95].

When Mme. Calment died at 122 in l997, the new longevity champ became 116-year-old Marie-Louise Meilleur, of Canada. Mme. Meilleur had chain-smoked all her adult life (as her grandson said, "She always had a cigarette dangling from her lips as she worked,"--AP, 8/15/97, reported in Miami Herald, p. 2A). She did give up smoking, however, when she was nearly 100.

Search on Bing.com for more famouns Centurion smokers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wg
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Mountain View, where is your sense of fair play? Your sense of "Live and let live"? Your sense of balancing people's rights? Smokers are already discriminated against beyond reason. This measure is draconian.

OK, forget the moral and ethical questions. Take a look at the economics since that seems to the City Council's main concern. We don't live in Mountain View but my wife and I spend at least $300.00 per month at coffee shops and restaurants in Mountain View because we like the town. It always seemed like a pleasant, reasonable, down-to-earth community. I signed the petition to defeat this measure. We have decided that if this ordinance stands we will spend our dollars in more smoker friendly establishments in towns like Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Regular customers, of whom there are a multitude sitting in the packed patio smoking area at Molly Magee's, for instance, spend a LOT more per month than we do. Have you checked the price of a beer on Castro Street? Do a little math and I think you'll be astounded at the amount of money that smokers contribute to local businesses and, by extension, to the tax base.

And don't worry about saving smokers from themselves. They're old enough and intelligent enough to make their own choices. So are the business owners, the people who work there and their customers. They can vote with their feet and their dollars. That's what we'll do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gasp R
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

THANK YOU, CITY COUNCIL, for keeping my air cleaner. RESIST PRESSURE TO BACK DOWN FROM YOUR DECISION. The World, including Mountain View, is a more enjoyable place to live in when the polluting irritants in my life, smoke being one, are eliminated.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JS
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

To HB, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood: And my father died of lung cancer at age 39 from my mother's smoking habit. Some people are much more susceptible than others. There are many famous people who died because of smoking, so don't try to prove your point by pointing out a few who have the genes unaffected by nicotine.

To Alex M: Young people smoke more than do older people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:22 am

To Carter C,we agree in theory but
If you don't like Hip-Hop don't go to a Hip-Hop club.
If you don't like Starbucks,don't go there.
If you don't like smoking don't go where its allowed.
Vote with your feet and pocket.
But stop telling smokers that YOU know better.
PS I am not a smoker but I am an American and respect a persons right to choose including a business owners choice to permit smoking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ME
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

This is wonderful news! Now all my friends and I will patronize Molly McGees and The Sports Page again - the second hand smoke was awful!
Thank you to the City Council members who made the right vote - will remember you in the next election.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

To ME, You intend to visit these bars AGAIN. Smoking has never been banned outdoors . Obviously they have not missed you.Have you read the ordinance? Its not about smoking its about free choice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kay Jones
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

Too many rules, Mt. View, when I visit Tahoe or Sonora, the smoking is way too much. As a non-smoker, I can hardly breathe in the Sonora casino. BUT, this just smacks of policing and telling people what they can do. I actually don't blame smokers for being a bit upset. Come one, really, smoking outside in the fresh air will NOT subject someone to gross smoke inhalation and endanger them. If you don't like the smoke, get away from it. WAY too many rules.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

I won't spend another dime downtown.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I am the person who started the petition against the ban and unlike those of you that are in favor of the new ordinance, I have actually READ IT. To Bren, Carter C, Gasp R., J.S., and M.E. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this new law will result in MORE people being exposed to second hand smoke. Right now, there are about a dozen places in all of Mountain View (that I know of) that permit outdoor patio smoking.

When this law goes into effect, smokers will be forced from their own isolated areas where smoking affect only them and the non-smokers that CHOOSE TO BE THERE, out into the general public where the second hand smoke will affect everyone! Instead of keeping the air cleaner it will have the exact opposite effect as the City Council intends. The goal is to have more people exposed to second hand smoke so there will be more complaints and then they will have an excuse to ban smoking everywhere.

M.E. - Lies like yours are all too apparent. As was pointed out before, these places have always allowed smoking in the outdoor patio areas so it is obvious that you have NEVER been to any of these places. Also, why is it so important for you to go to the dozen places that allow smokers to be treated like human beings? Why can't you visit the thousands of other places in Mountain View that cater to NON-SMOKERS?

The bottom line is that this truly is about Freedom of Choice. It's funny that people think of only one thing when you mention that, but why should abortion be the only choice that people have? Why can't we choose to smoke or not? Why can't we choose what our own children take to school to eat for lunch? Why can't we choose how much salt and sugar we can consume? What kind of car we drive? Do we really want the Government to make all of our choices for us?

Bren, Carter, Gasp, J.S., & M.E. what will you do when the Government forces a choice on you that you don't like? It is only a matter of time before it happens and perhaps then you will truly understand what I was trying to do here. if you really care about this issue, go to city hall and request a copy of the petition that I filed. You can do this under the Freedom of Information Act. Read it for yourself before you make any more knee-jerk reaction posts just because you hate smokers. If you still disagree after reading my petition in full, then fine, but at least you will have an INFORMED opinion. Remember, ignorance is the enemy of democracy!

Jim Neal


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Sounds like a lot of people whining about not being able to smoke when and where they want even if it subjects others to their second hand smoke. Sounds pretty selfish on the part of the smokers and their advocates.

Yes, you should eat what you want, drive what you want, drink what you want.....none of those choices affect others. You should be able to chew tobacco when and where you want too (assuming you don't spit it everywhere). However when you smoke it, you subject others to that nasty second hand smoke.

Yes, you also have a right not to shop, eat, or have your business located in Mt. View. You do have a choice! People not wanting to breathe second hand smoke will thank you!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

To Resident

Do you drive a car and subject people to that polution? I don't and do not appreciate what you are doing? Should we ban cars?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Yes, I drive a car. No, I don't subject people to polution like s smoker creates second hand smoke. I drive a car that adheres to modern pollution regulations and actually CLEANS the air as I drive. Now "IF" I took off all the emissions controls on my car, then I could see your point.

But good for you that you don't drive!

Of course we shouldn't ban cars...but we do have pollution regulations here where our cars get tested every 2 years. Do you want stricter emissions controls?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Mr. Resident,

Obviously you have not read my petition. It is NOT about us smoking where and when we want. It is about us smoking in patio areas AWAY from the public areas. But of course you want us to smoke in the parking lots and on Castro street itself, fine. I am sure you won't be whining when all these people are smoking out on the street in your face because you support a ban that throws us out of the only secluded public areas we have. I live in Mountain View, but you are saying that because I am a smoker I have no right to eat here? I am a Black man and about 50 years ago, people were telling my people that we didn't need to eat at white restaurants because Black people had their own to go to. Glad to see nothing has changed! This is Jim Crow for smokers, only instead of being allowed to have our own places, we are being forced out into the street! Do you get that part? Telling smokers that they cannot legally smoke anywhere is the same as telling the owners of cars that you can buy one, but you can't drive it anywhere. Is that clearer for you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

This is hilarious:

"I drive a car that adheres to modern pollution regulations and actually CLEANS the air as I drive."

What, is it pulled by a unicorn?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Jim,

Sorry, you weren't very clear. You are right about the fact that there are RULES and you just can't do anything you want. I'm happy that you'll be out in the parking lot smoking instead of smoking on a patio where others will be sitting, eating and drinking.

I can't help you with your other points because frankly, they don't make a whole lot of sense.

Other posters whine about "this isn't fair because XXXXX pollutes too". Well life isn't fair and this new law isn't meant to address fairness for every law or activity in our town. It is about SMOKING in public places and preventing others from being exposed to second hand smoke when they eat, drink, sit in establishments in Mt View.

I will indulge you in your last point about buying a car but you can't drive it anywhere. You are right...you can't drive it anywhere you want. We have laws that say you can't drive your car on the sidewalk or through a park. This is just like smoking...you can buy cigars but you can't smoke it anywhere you want.

It's been fun but time for me to move on. Mission ccomplished because rational readers will realize the holes in your premise.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Old Ben,

It's called a volvo with the radiator that cleans the air while you drive. I think you've been spending too much time with the unicorn. LOL!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm

No car "cleans the air while you drive." That is delusional.

So why can't someone open a bar for smokers? Why can't the Sports Page be a smoker's hangout? Nonsmokers have plenty of other options.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Resident, I could only find information on your miracle Volvo as a concept car. It's great that you are so rich that you can afford one! If people like you had their way, poor people would not be allowed to drive because they could not afford all these great "non-polluting" cars. So cars would once again be only for the privileged class such as yourself. As to my points not making sense, you can blame the school you went to. Maybe they didn't teach you about segregation or discrimination. The fact is that smokers are the only people that can legally be discriminated against based on the fact that they are using a legal product in exactly the manner that it was designed for. Your analogy of driving on the sidewalks is flawed. First, it was NEVER legal to drive on sidewalks, but it WAS LEGAL to smoke indoors and on patios. I am addressing the fact that soon we will not be allowed to legally smoke anywhere, which is the equivalent to telling people that they can't drive cars on the roads.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm

The fact that "resident" is not prepared to put his/her name on this forum speaks for itself. One more fool who has not read the ordinance nor realizes the consequences.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I applaud the council for stepping up and protecting everyone from second hand smoke. Good job city council!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lina
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Pat

You should read the ordinance , it does not not protect anyone from second hand smoke it increases it since it pushes all the smokers out of the dedicated places that are the open patios, out into the streets or parking lots !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Molly McGee's doesn't even serve food. Now the people will have to go out onto the sidewalks to smoke now, brainiac. There are plenty of other bars without smoking sections, patronize them instead.

For all the people who are worried about your health, stay out of the freaking bar! This nanny-state mentality is ridiculous, stop trying to impose your lifestyle on a bar full of alcoholics!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Next they'll be dictating what goes in the jukebox.
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

@ (Resident, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood)

Now that this passed, you and all of your little "Brown Shirt" buddies can come down hang out in the bars, ruining the atmosphere even more. Why can't you let business owners determine their own policy on smoking. If the patrons don't like the atmosphere, non-smoking clubs and bars will thrive. If you don't like something, DON'T DO IT!!!!Don't try to stop other people from living their life they way they see fit. I bet you got beat up often a child.

and Jim .....Thanks again for putting the petition together, too bad liberty was snuffed out once again!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wiliam
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Nothing much we can do about the tones of vehicular pollution belched onto shoppers and diners around Castro St. Not a thing we can do about the half burnt gas from clunkers and diesel particulate pumped right onto our dinning tables. But because we feel nothing can be done about that pollution we pretend it is not toxic. And then there is the antiquated train that billows diesel toxins at regular intervals each day. Not a thing we can do about any of those known toxic pollutants short of a mass transformation of our transportation.

This is all very frustrating and we must "do something". A smoking ban will probably cause more harm then good, will be painful, arbitrary and unfriendly to enforce, and will probably not accomplish it's intended goal. But some members of the city counsel will feel some emotion (no idea what?) knowing that they darn well "did something" even if it was wrong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

AC/DC advocates crazy sex. Crazy sex causes AIDS. How long before the Body Nazis start campaigning to ban AC/DC from jukeboxes?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I'm sure Mt View will try to ban smoking everywhere which would be fine with me. I can't stand the smell of smoke anyhow.

You know that smoke causes cancer. So instead of fighting the ban, all you smokers should just try and quit that nasty, stinky habit.

All I keep hearing is a bunch of whining from the smokers which is pretty pathetic. Just get over it! Duh!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

All vehicles driving on Castro will be within 25 feet of outdoor diners. Do we ask that our police pull them over if someone in smoking inside? If people are allowed to smoke while they are walking (are they?), should we ask our police to ticket them if they stop moving and stand in one place? How long can one stand still and smoke before being ticketed?
What is the fine for a second, third... offence? Who do I call to report a smoker at 24 feet? Do I get a reward for turning in smokers at less then 25 feet? Did the counsel consider banning cigarette lighters sold within the city?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

To Pat
,Fat kills,alcohol kills sodas cause diabetes, sun causes cancer,

Smoking may be a nasty stinky habit, but this is America,I have the choice to smoke,eat fat,drink soda or sunbathe if I choose. Foolish attitude,giving up your rights this easy.

I like an occasional Big Mac, I bet your narrow type mentality will ban McDonalds eventually.All because you know best,...foolish

PS I do not smoke nor would I ever expose you to second hand smoke.
READ THE ORDINANCE and wear you name tag as you walk down Castro St so I can laugh at you as you gringe at the smoke that was not there before this ordinance passed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

Quick note on the 'magic' Volvo...the radiator merely oxydizes ground level ozone. The car does nothing to remove hydrocarbons/CO/NOX, and even though classified as 'SULEV' still produces tailpipe emissions.
Now back to the entertainment portion of our program.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marcy
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

I am not a smoker but I do believe this is going too far. If I were a smoker, I would round up as many smokers as possible and walk up and down Castro chain-smoking just to prove how ridiculous this all is. Every wonder why people that dine outdoors right next to Castro street and inhale all the car exhaust are usually the ones that are against smokers? How warped is that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

Let me know when the critical mass smoke in is to occur. I will head on down to Castro St. and light up! And I don't normally smoke.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by smoker
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Let me know when and I will be there !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JimNeal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi Ned and all other smokers and supporters of civil rights,

I started the petition agains this ridiculous ban and I am planning more actions to show how stupid it really is. If you are interested in participating, please email me at:

jrodricneal@hotmail.com

Note to all others: This email is not provided for not to be used for sending me advertisements of any type. Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cindy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Can someone post the Ordinance?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Post the ordinance,

Good God NO,

Trust your City Council,

they know whats best for you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

This is "ANIMAL FARM" ,
George Orwell would be proud of the 4 Council stooges.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I'm a smoker and don't see the big fuss about the ordinance. Doesn't the ordinance say that we can't smoke on the outdoor patios where people are drinking and/or eating? If that's the case, I'm actually for the ordinance because even though I smoke, I don't like smelling other people's smoke. I know, call me strange!

Can someone post the actual ordinance?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Ok, you asked for it, you've got it! This link contains the document provided for the Feb 14th meeting:

Web Link

Also, for Sarah: The law means that smokers now have NO PLACE to eat and drink in comfort. As I stated several other times before, non-smokers have thousands of other places in Mountain View they can go to. The owners of these few (about a dozen that I know of) places that this ordinance will affect, have CHOSEN to cater to smokers. If you don't want to smell other people's smoke YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THESE FEW PLACES!

This is about freedom of choice for patrons, employees, and owners! What about the employees that smoke? They will now have to leave the premises to smoke during working hours. Anyone that wants a copy of the petition that I filed (without the signatures, addresses and phone numbers of course) and wants to be INFORMED before talking on this subject can email me at:

jrodricneal@hotmail.com (this email address is not to be used for solicitation of any kind thanks!)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 18, 2012 at 2:02 am

I think the ordinance is good. Why should servers/busboys have to walk to tables where people are smoking? Also, why do smokers need to smoke while they eat and drink? They can smoke when they get out of the cars walking to the restaurants. Also, have you ever walked into a doorway with people smoking right around the door? yuck.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sally
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 2:10 am

Does the 1st ordinance (the one to comply with CA state regulation) mean that smoking will be banned in the grass area of Shoreline Ampitheatre?
Thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim's Logic
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

I'm addicted to tearing up sheets of asbestos. I do it for relaxation and enjoyment...watching the tiny asbestos fibers wafting into the air
calms me. I should have the right to do this in certain restaurants.
I have started a petition to demand civil rights for asbestos tearers
so that we can stop being persecuted by this Orwelian city council.
Oh, wait, I just got a clue. Nevermind.


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Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

None of the bars represented have staff on their patios, so no server/busboys issues.
To Jims logic, If you want to tear up asbestos and you are not exposing anyone else ,go for it.Don't say that we are all exposed to the dust you create because that is not the case if I do not frequent that establishment, nobody is forcing you or anyone else.

No smoking on the lawn or anywhere at Shoreline.
No smoking at the Police Dept rear smoking area
No more smoking outside Mt View Theater.
No more smoking in the rear of Mt View City hall where employees go.
etc,etc.
When those nasty smokers get over this we are going to prohibit something else,what that might be we have not decided yet.But do not be afraid because we know whats best for you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PlsRuinMyBackyard
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

Regarding the concern from smokers that the public will be subjected to more smoke, since they will be forced to take their cigarettes outside: Well, if it gets obnoxious to the public, then another ordinance will be passed, so don't you worry about that!

My personal views:
I hate the smell of cigarettes.
I hate not being able to use a patio, because people have to smoke there.
I do not understand why I have to wear a seat belt when I drive, a helmet when I write a motorbike, but I can smoke myself to death?

To the person who knew someone who smoked until they were very old, here is another piece of data for you: All of the people in my family that were lifelong smokers died of lung cancer and smoking related illnesses. Those that smoked for part of their life, died young. Those that never smoked, lived to over 100.

To those of you who think smoking does not significantly shorten your life and are running around saying: "Bad Science! Bad Science!", you are idiots.

To those of you who think that smoking does not raise my insurance premiums and increase my taxes to support public-assisted med benefits, you are idiots.

By the way, does this ordinance affect private clubs? I wonder if bars can convert to workaround this? Members can read and sign an agreement that they understand the risk of smoking and of second hand smoke as part of their membership.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

Heh. No smoking at Shoreline? ROFLMAO

Good luck enforcing THAT.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Anon, your ignorance staggers me! First of all, almost all the affected places don't have bus boys and servers because they ARE BARS! they serve ONLY DRINKS! Most of the people that serve the drinks also smoke and they do not bring drinks out to the patio areas! If you visited any of these places you would know that. It is amazing how many people here that are in favor of the ban have never even set foot in the places that will be affected, but are more than willing to stick their foot in their mouths!

As to Jim's Logic (who can't even use his real name) there is asbestos in many buildings in Mountain View and you have probably been in some! If you don't like asbestos, you avoid the buildings that you know have it! If you don't like smokers, avoid places that allow smoking. Cigarettes are a legal product, and I don't see the City Council refusing to take the money that they get from the sale of tobacco. We can buy it to pay for all their pet projects, we just can't use it! Gasoline contains carcinogens that are put into the air every time you drive. Should the council also ban the use of Gasoline? You can buy it but you can't use it? What kind of ridiculous idea is that?

Finally, to PlsRuinMyBackYard, someone else who appears to be too cowardly to give a real name, if I want to smoke and shorten my life, that is my business and my right. You see, I want to enjoy my life while I am here on earth. I smoke cigars because I want to not because I have to! If I have the choice between living the life I want and living to 60, or letting the City Council tell me how to live and living to 100, I would CHOOSE to die at 60! You see 'ruin' it's not up to you to tell me what is right for me. You can't tell me what to eat or drink, what to smoke, what to wear, where to live, or what to buy! I know you want to, but Americans like something called FREEDOM OF CHOICE! If you don't like it, then you'll love the totalitarianism that is right around the corner. Today it's smokers, tomorrow it will be whatever you like to do! Do you eat meat? Do you have children? Do you drink? Like salt, coffee, coke, or doughnuts? Sooner or later they will find something you like and decide to 'take it away from you for your own good'. So go ahead and have a good laugh. Congratulate yourself on being so much smarter tan us stupid smokers. When they go after what you like, we'll stand aside just like you did.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm


If I want to smoke that is my business.
I would go to a place where the business permits me to smoke.
You DO NOT have to go there.
You DO NOT have to support such a business.
You can encourage your friends to stay away from such a business.

You do not realize how many businesses have survived without your custom for many years.

Read the ordinance,smokers will now be forced to leave these stinky premises and be put out on to the public streets.

I am not telling you where to go.
STOP TELLING ME !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ha
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

Oh, and the dollar a pack tax is coming too.
If you do not like it I encourage you to boycott smoking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Victor
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

To Ha,
But this is America and I hope we still
have the Freedom of Choice.

ps Does Pro Choice only refer to "a woman's right to choose"?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Cigarette taxes can be avoided entirely by purchasing them from the Native Americans.

Choke on that, nanny state.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bwa!
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 20, 2012 at 9:26 am

Yes, "Choke on that" an interesting choice of words :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

This is just hilarious! It's very appropriate that people are "choking" with all that smoke.

I almost signed the petition just because I feel sorry smokers because they are having their civil rights taken away...lol.

Can I create another petition because I feel it's my civil right to shoot my gun anywhere on my property even if it's a postage sized lot? I won't hit anyone else, I promise!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lina
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Ron, you cant shoot your gun in your postage sized lot , but if you like to shoot you can freely do it at a shooting range , and yes you can start a petition if the city counsel passes an ordinance banning shooting in the shooting range because someone that hates guns claims the right to walk in front of the targets, but allows you to shoot in the street as long as you are walking from one destination to another ! This makes the the smoking ban hilarious !!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lysdexic
a resident of Gemello
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Every time I see the headline "Revolt by Smokers..." it initially registers as "Revolting Smokers..."
Its funny cuz its true! :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Litter Bugged
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I'm all for smoker's rights, but only until they stop abusing the rights they currently have. They can smoke in their car, but somehow cannot use their ashtray and throw the butts out the window, or sneakily try and drop them at a red light so nobody sees, but we all do.
They have the right to smoke in lots of areas, and in all those areas the main component of litter is cig butts. If its a designated smoking area, it'll be carpeted with them. In fact, the article of litter I see EVERYWHERE and most often, is cig butts. Smokers are already abusing their right to smoke in public when they discard their butts as if they won't be around 20 years from now.

When they prove, as a community, that they can exist in an area without turning it into their own personal ashtray, well then I'll sign your petition.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Well, Litter Bugged, I am sure you will be all for it when the Council shuts down all the fast food places because people throw those wrappers on the ground, shut down the grocery stores because people steal the carts and leave them all over the city filled with garbage, ban bicycles because cyclists ride on the sidewalks, and ban gum because people spit it out on the ground for you to step in.

The places they are banning smoking, clean up after those few smokers that do not clean up after themselves. In your world view, totalitarianism is the only answer for people that don't behave perfectly. Your view is "if a few smokers aren't perfect, then they all need to be thrown out into the cold". Obviously, like all the other non-smokers who are posting their knee-jerk, hate filled, petty remarks, you haven't bothered to read the ordinance. You [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] to even know that the petition was submitted to City Council a week ago, so you couldn't sign it even if I wanted you to.

It amazes me how petty and intolerant people in California are. They seem to love seeing other people have their rights taken away as long as it is something that doesn't affect them personally, but then they complain when someone takes away their rights. People here are only tolerant as long as it is something that falls into a politically correct category.

Smokers accepted segregation because we thought that maybe if we accepted being forced into a few small places, you people would finally LEAVE US ALONE! But even that was not good enough. Those of you who hate smokers will never stop the persecution because you can't stand to see someone happy doing something that YOU don't like.

I don't have to prove anything to you 'bugged'. You don't own me, you don't employ me, you are not even my friend. I don't want your signature because it comes at too high a cost; my freedom!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I just read the ordinance in full. I think it's great! Good job city council!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mrtuvok
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm

mrtuvok is a registered user.

Hey Mark! If you're glad about that, I'm sure you'll be equally glad that the Council now wants to ban any new business with drive throughs! They are trying to keep a new Chik-fil-A off of El Camino (now considered by the totalitarian members on the City Council as the Grand Boulevard (to fulfill their delusions of GRANDeur I am sure!). You can read about it here:

Web Link

How great do you think it will be when all the smokers are on the street with YOU! Because now they have now other choice. You must really love smoke, so once the "ban" goes into effect, remember what a great idea this was when you are walking down Castro street through 50 to 60 smokers! Take a deep breath and say "duh"! :)

Next up:

Council to ban plastic baby bottles because they're not recyclable!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Really is a registered user.

I wanted to say something about this story. To do that I had to give my life history and register with a lot of personal information. Why is that? What happened to plain old freedom of speech? I have lived in Mountain View for 44 years and it is not improving from my view point. Seems we have four people making all the rules. The smoking rule is STUPID! Another question I have is California has a open container law so how is that it is ok for patrons to sit out on the sidewalk on Castro and drink?


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