Town Square

Post a New Topic

Major smoking clampdown is in the air

Original post made on Dec 1, 2011

Smokers may soon have to curb their habits in Mountain View, thanks to a city proposal to nix smoking in and around outdoor dining areas and within 25 feet of publicly accessible buildings.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 1, 2011, 11:03 AM

Comments (29)

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

"The ordinance is the result of a push by Santa Clara County after it received a $6.9 million federal grant to reduce second-hand smoke exposure."

What a ridiculous waste of tax dollars. Meanwhile, people are homeless and starving here in America.


Posted by smoke, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

The city needs to ban wood smoke as well. On low wind winter days, some parts of the city smell like they are on fire. Wood fire smoke can be even more dangerous to our kids than second hand cigarette smoke.


Posted by Anon, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

>>What a ridiculous waste of tax dollars. Meanwhile, people are homeless and starving here in America.

And the business of the whole world should stop because of that? Society must do what needs to be done!


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Let's get rid of buses, trucks and cars as well since they are the by far the biggest contributor to air pollution.


Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Old Ben said:
>>What a ridiculous waste of tax dollars.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this initiative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that smokers cost the country $96 billion a year in direct health care costs, and an additional $97 billion a year in lost productivity. That's an average of $643 per American per year. Across the 1.76 million inhabitants in Santa Clara County, it would add up to $1.1 billion per year.

This is of course a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and I invite you to check I got it right. Maybe Santa Clara County residents smoke more or less than the average American, maybe there are fewer or more young children (who don't smoke) in this county than in the average US county.

But spending $6.9 million once to take a bite out of a recurring yearly expense that is on the order of $1 billion seems smart to me.


Posted by City Worker, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

"Kim Castro of the city's parks and recreation department."

I'm pretty sure that she is the youth services coordinator under the office of the city manager, not under parks and rec.

Technically the city doesn't have a "parks and recreation department". It's called community services.


Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Observer said:
>> Let's get rid of buses, trucks and cars as well since they are the by far the biggest contributor to air pollution.

Buses, trucks and cars bring employees to work, goods to stores, and the sick to hospitals. Cigarettes do none of that.

Oh wait, I guess cigarettes *do* bring people to hospitals.


Posted by Sista Sista, a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Martin Omander - The CDC is literally blowing smoke up, you know what.

Obesity is the #1 cause in health increase. The company I work for, bombarded us with "Biometric Screening" emails for our open enrollment. I bet other companies have the same initiative.

They would even credit us for knowing how unhealthy we are if we took the tests. BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

Old Ben is right. It's a total waste of tax dollars. They should use that money to educate fat Americans about diet and exercise.
Of course, that would hurt fat peoples feelings and we wouldn't want to do that.
Easier to target smokers, cos they are evil.


Posted by Can't believe, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm

How crazy is this? 6.9 million would go a long way toward helping getting rid of the gangs in Mountain View. Ever consider how many people they send to the hospital? I never hear what the City is doing about that issue. I guess if someone wants to have a smoke that is worse. I never hear of a smoker on Castro street walking up to a stranger and ripping their gold neckllace off of their necks.


Posted by Kman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm



City staff said it would not be the responsibility of business owners to act as police, but Nicole Clemens of the city attorney's office told business owners that "if you are found to be allowing them to smoke on your premises you could be cited."

If someone is breaking the law, then the police should be notified. To even think that the owner needs to be a police officer is ridiculous.

What's happened to America, the land of the free. I guess the folks in government have nothing better to do then create more stupid laws that take up precious police time, rather then having them look at the more serious crimes. No wonder our cities are becoming a haven for criminals. The police are to busy busting someone for petty thing. Really bright.



Posted by The Eye, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm

The Eye is a registered user.

@Kman: Not to worry, the police will never, ever respond to a report of someone smoking in a restricted area anyway, as it would be considered an extremely low priority call, and will simply be logged and likely forgotten. The ordinance will be no more, if passed, but a paper tiger, and will simply go up in smoke.


Posted by HB, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2011 at 6:11 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.

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.

Someone was talking about statistics, well statistic are only a representations of the creators prejudice views.

Here is 2 samples of statistics i'll share with you.

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.

That's only 2 highly publicized cases, you want to read more, search on Bing.com for Centurion smokers.


Posted by Whataver, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I don't give a rat's butt about statistics. Cigarette smoke is obnoxious to me. I don't want to breathe your damned smoke. Go smoke where you can only bother and kill yourself. If you are bringing back the stupid argument that cigarette smoke doesn't kill, then go back to the 1950's and have a freakin Marlboro. Morons.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

This country was a lot better off in the 1950s, when people minded their own business.

Fat people are toxic scum.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

Martin Omander, give a citation for your claim that cigarette smokers cost this country $96 billion dollars a year. I call total BS on that figure.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

Back your assertions up with citations, Martin Omander.

"I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this initiative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that smokers cost the country $96 billion a year in direct health care costs, and an additional $97 billion a year in lost productivity. That's an average of $643 per American per year. Across the 1.76 million inhabitants in Santa Clara County, it would add up to $1.1 billion per year."

Where is your source?


Posted by Shake Spear, a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hey, Martin Omander .

Is this the same CDC that, blogged about "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse".


Posted by H. Hoover, a resident of another community
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

A health policy in every pot.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I don't smoke, but I think further legislation to restrict smoking will succumb to the law of diminishing returns. Its not very often now that I encounter smoking where I can't avoid it if I want to, nor do I find many smokers who will carelessly smoke without being sensitive to others. There's enough stigma in society with the health effects of smoking that self policing has become the norm, not the exception.

Laws don't take the place of courtesy and common sense. If I'm in a night club, I expect the smoke.

I also think the money could be better spent, since this law is unenforceable, or at the very least, will prove an unneeded distraction by police and/or an unreasonable expectation by small business owners.


Posted by Nikonbob, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm

@HB...I guess for our children's longevity we should start them on a pack a day as soon as possible.

Geez, what are you smoking? I hope for your sake that you're being facetious.


Posted by Comprehending Ben, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 3, 2011 at 6:05 am

Old Ben, when someone says "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates ..."

That's the source. You even reposted it. Did you mean LINK?
The brilliance of the local msg boards continues.


Posted by Clean Air, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

The fact is that more than 85% of the population in the Bay Area do not smoke and we do not want to smell the foul odor of cigarette smoke while we are eating, shopping, etc.

Breathing clean air is a right, not a choice. Smoking is a choice, NOT a right. The bottom line is why do we let the !5% of the population who smoke constantly bother the 85% of us who do not smoke?


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Instead of focusing on semantics between sources and links, or debating the relative health repercussions about smoking, let's answer the primary question in this debate:

How far should we be legislating individual behavior? At what point does the "common good" impinge on individual freedom? At present, smoking is still a legal activity, and I don't see the city or any other governing body advocating to make it illegal to smoke.

What's happening here is that the City is now obligated to promote a reduction in second hand smoking, as mandated by the County, who is getting direction from the Federal government.

I don't smoke and don't like smoking, but its concerning to me when government begins to encroach on individual freedoms by eroding or restricting them too expansively. Seems big brotherish to me.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm

"Breathing clean air is a right, not a choice. Smoking is a choice, NOT a right. The bottom line is why do we let the !5% of the population who smoke constantly bother the 85% of us who do not smoke?"

--------------

Oh please, you can cut the melodrama. The air you breathe is more affected by emissions from industrial and automotive sources, than the 2nd hand smoke you are likely to encounter in this day and age, where cigarette smoke is already prohibited in many public spaces. As I've stated before, few are the times where I encounter second hand smoke that I can't avoid, if it really bothers me.

And to answer your question, the reason why we should put up with the 15% is because this is America. Yes, that's right, the whole point of democracy is NOT that majority rules, but that the individual rights and liberties that we all cherish in different ways, aren't trampled on just because a majority of us don't think they're important.

Its convenient to restrict the freedoms and vices you don't partake in, but by shunting aside someone else's priorities, you do no better than your average despot.

Maybe you'd like to live in Iran or North Korea...I hear they're approaching 100% consensus on most things, whether they like it or not.


Posted by Sid, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 4, 2011 at 8:01 am

I can't stand the smell of greasy friers as you approach places like McDonald's, Jack-in-the-box, Carl's Jr, or In-an-out Burger. Can we outlaw fast food joints then?


Posted by mookie, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:15 am

Welcome to the nanny state! Angry libs aren't happy enough that there are smoking bans or that they have the freedom to refrain from smoking, they want to stop other people from making their own decisions and dictate their beliefs.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Cigarette smokers are the new black. When do we get seperate drinking fountains?

I think I'll switch to cigars.


Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Does freedom ever play into any of this?

I don't smoke. I think cigarette smoke is disgusting.

But I don't care if other people choose to smoke. It's all about freedom. And freedom means having to put up with things you might object to sometimes. Enough trying to force people to do what is "right". We're free to do as we please.

People who complain about cigarette smoke crack me up. Where are you bumping into all these evil smokers? People can't smoke at work. You can't smoke at a restuarant. You can't smoke inside the mall, or a movie theaters, or the doctor's office, or on a plane. Where are you confined with all these evil smokers forcing you to inhale second hand smoke?

I think some people like to complain just to complain. Just because you think someone is doing something stupid doesn't mean it should be illegal.

Spending almost $7 million dollars to hassle smokers is such a waste of money. There's no math to justify it. You won't be able to determine if that $7 million actually helped.. and it probably won't. Smokers are going to smoker.. leave them alone already.

My kid's school is saying they need $12 million to remodel their facilities. Let's spend it there instead and keep the district from either borrowing the money or adding yet more taxes to my parcel.


Posted by Stupid conversation, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I agree with Maddox. Or maybe yet we should tell people they can't have kids? Like in China? Or maybe just one cig? After dinner? After sex?


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Indian street food and ... bitcoins?
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,069 views

Analyze data yourself with R - a fast growing language for statistics, forecasting and graphs
By Angela Hey | 2 comments | 2,369 views

Most Seniors do not Need Senior Housing But Could Benefit from other Choice to Remain in Palo Alto
By Steve Levy | 27 comments | 1,178 views

"The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden"
By Anita Felicelli | 0 comments | 1,095 views

Crittenden Hosts Startup Weekend
By Ms. Jenson | 1 comment | 195 views