News

Smoking ban takes effect Tuesday

A new ban on smoking near publicly accessible buildings and outdoor dining areas goes into effect Tuesday, May 15, which means a $50 citation for those caught violating the new law.

Under the new law smokers cannot stand within 25 feet of windows, doors -- even cracks and vents in the walls of workplaces, restaurants or any publicly accessible building where smoking is already banned.

Smoking is now largely banned in busy commercial areas like Castro Street though an exception is given to smokers who "are actively passing from one destination to another," said Kim Castro of the city's community services department.

The City Council voted 4-3 in support of the ban on Jan. 24 and in a second vote on Feb. 14. with members Tom Means, John Inks and Laura Macias opposed.

The Council also banned smoking within 25 feet of outdoor dining areas, including those at restaurants and picnic areas in public parks, where smoking is already banned within 30 feet of a playground.

Business owners are responsible for educating employees about the ban, said police spokeswoman Liz Wylie. Businesses face fines for ignoring the ban, but there has to be proof that a business "knew, or reasonably should have known" of violations, Wylie said. Deputy City Attorney Nicole Clemens said business owners would likely receive infractions, with a fine of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense within one year and $500 for each additional offense within one year. Business owners could also face misdemeanor charges in severe cases.

Bars and night clubs fiercely opposed the ban, saying it would drive customers away and encourage smokers to gather in nearby parking lots and alleys instead of designated outdoor patios.

The creation of the ordinance was funded with a $53,788 grant from Santa Clara County to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.

No smoking signs are available from the city for businesses. More information can be found at mountainview.gov under announcements.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

No wonder the state is bankrupt. That's a total waste of $53,788.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rorob
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

what is the status of condo's, its public, right? my downstairs neighbor smokes and it comes right in my windows and skylights. What can i do to not get 2nd hand smoke in my own home? He has claimed he has the right to smoke, and the association has not supported me. Just curious what the rule on this is now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by smoker
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

So, I guess if I am going to light up, I will make sure I am walking. If I am walking then I am clearly "passing from one destination to another".

In all seriousness, I am a smoker and I have mixed feelings about the ban. For example I get that people don't want to smell cigarette smoke while they are eating outside (I don't either!). But I doubt this will address that much since essentially anyone walking down Castro can smoke as long as they are moving...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by karene
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

To rorob: I think the law is on your side now. See the Mountain View Online article: Web Link. Near the end is the following report: Smoking is also now banned in duplexes, condominium and townhouse complexes, and apartment buildings. My understanding is that it covers Santa Clara County. Good luck!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bri
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

What a freaking joke, no wonder why California has a huge deficit. I'm not even a smoker, and I actually GET the ban on smoking indoors, but this has now moved to the realm of NANNY STATE! You can't tell an adult what they can and cannot put in their own body, trust me, they will smoke anyway. Some drunk lady came out of a restaurant drunk and yelled at my friend last week, threatening to get the police and acting hostile, then proceeded to get in her car and drive her two little kids home drunk. Hypocrisy at its finest! We even had establishments that kept them off the street by providing an outdoor smoking section, but the nutty little bastards ruined that as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Makes ya glad to live in a place where we can't afford 1/2 of a cop's salary, but we can spend over 50k to creat an ordinance that any decent 12th grade kid could write up during one home room session.
Way ta go council.. Hey, I have an idea... for 50k I will draft an ordinance that prohibits males from looking at females, and stops the ladies of the town from looking at some hunk guy. I mean... look where those looks lead to.... increased population, future drinkers/smokers, and money spent in bars and Dairy Queen.
Ah, the good uses for 50k.

Bye George


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charlene
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Well, you all, we can vote them out! If you don't like the people on the council, vote them out! I am an ex-smoker, but geez, they are really coming down hard on these people. The moment I step outside my place of residence, I cannot control what someone else does. I see most smokers go out of their way not to be a nuisance. I don't have any hard feelings about them. I do think the council is going to "heck" and there are only a few people on there I have any respect for. I won't name names, but please people--when it comes time to re elect, try tried and true good people who don't waste our money, and maybe a new council member. I use to have so much pride in our City council but now I feel sort of embarassed. No, not by all of them, but if you don't like it, change it! Thanks for letting me have my say. I love Mountain View!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am

I'm a smoker and I vote. I'll vote for anybody but the busybodies that passed this ordinance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ann
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

what a total waste of money.... smokers are just the easy target..it has become politically correct to attack their legal behavior and freedom....concentrate on the drugs that are destroying our young people and families...and the illegals who are breaking our laws...they are costing us taxpayers more than 50 GRAND A DAY in mt. view...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Litsa
a resident of North Whisman
on May 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

This is ridiculous and a waste of money. I don't smoke and I find that commercial with the woman smoking out on her balcony and the second hand smoke reaching a baby in the crib, a total joke.

There is no scientific evidence that second hand smoke kills. If that was the case. Baby boomers and Gen X adults should all have lung cancer and or be dead.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

"funded with a $53,788 grant..." How much of city staff's time is spent searching out funds to support their bureaucratic empire? Is this ordinance really what the majority wants? Shame on our spineless city council!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I support any and all methods to limit smoking. I shouldn't have to put up with your noxious emissions at every turn, walk through a wall of toxic fumes every time I want to go anywhere, nor see your nasty cig butts littered all over the place. You act like smoking is akin to the first amendment....guess what, smoking is not a "right".

I know people who are very sensitive to cigarette smoke and it sometimes messes them up for the rest of the day, sometimes even longer, when they are forced to inhale won't they don't choose to inhale. They don't have a choice, just like with allergies, but it's completely up to the random smoker who can ruin their day.

If I had one wish, it would be for smoking to disappear from existence. Anyone who relies on it is weak-willed, IMHO, yet when their "right" is infringed they suddenly have the will to complain and moan like an old woman. Bring on prop 29! Maybe the added cost will get a few more of you rethink your rotten habit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah W.
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I support anything that makes it so people who don't want to breathe cigarette smoke don't have to. Honestly, a smoker "actively passing from one destination to another" doesn't bother me. Relatedly, I support the "Multi-Unit Residence Smoking Ordinance" whole-heartedly. In my apartment building, all units have patios. It's California of course, so we all have our windows open most of the time. The guy below me smokes on his patio. The smoke wafts up into my unit. He might as well be smoking in my unit. I want my home to be smoke-free! And if places with outdoor dining areas are smoke-free too, that's fantastic.


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