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Council passes smoking ban

Original post made on Jan 25, 2012

It just got a lot harder to smoke in Mountain View. On Tuesday night the City Council narrowly passed a ban on smoking near publicly accessible buildings and outdoor dining areas.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 3:40 PM

Comments (28)

Posted by Torin
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Really?? People are worried about thier health from second hand smoke? I mean come on guys our cars put out more damaging smoke and chemicals then cigarettes not to mentions the smoke and chemical vapors from factories. And all the you guys are worried about are smokers. You guys need to get a damn life. You want cleaner air then start with the ones that if they start cleaning up it will make a difference.

Posted by Billy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I hope that the employees that get laid off get free housing, food stamps and counselling for depression after lay off. I mean if the city council is really concerned about the health of the employees. Starving in the cold is not a good way to go.

Posted by Michael J. McFadden
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm

The problem doesn't lie with the SMOKING on the outdoor patios, but with the fact that innocent workers, many of them young people with potentially long lives ahead of them are being forced to work under carcinogenic solar radiation with nothing but the "partial protection" offered by sunscreen or awnings.

Something must be done about this. Just because some segments of society like to baste their melanomas under noonday blast of UV rays is no reason why our children should be compelled to risk early and painful deaths from malignancies. If some of these sun-freaks like the sun so much why can't they eat their meals inside like normal people and then just step outside and lie down on the sidewalk by the dumpsters to roast their horseflesh?

It's not widely publicized because there's no big money tax-funded lobby out there for it, there is NO SAFE LEVEL of radiation exposure!
Children who need to earn a few pennies from a low-paying waitering or waitressing job should not be compelled to place their lives and their futures in jeopardy just to carry food and drink to fat sun-worshipping slobs too lazy to stand up and get it for themselves.

Patios are neither inherent nor necessary to drinking and dining. A total ban on them is the only fair way to approach this problem: a level playing field based on safe indoor facilities, freely accessible to all, inclusion of Albino-Americans and others suffering sun-related Disabilities....

Forward, Into Our Future.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

People drinking alcohol and eating fried at the Sports Page need to be protected from second hand smoke?

Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm

"They don't have a choice," Siegel said.

Classic liberalism -- people cannot make their own decision so government must do it for them.

Keep in mind
-- many of the bartenders at Sport Page and elsewhere are smokers
-- no one forced them to take a job at a bar
-- smoking was already in place when they became employed

Also, sitting around watching sports on TV, drinking beer, and eating fried food is far worse than any smoke that may happen to waft into the build and across the room.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Mr. Means believes mostly in the free market. Sales taxes from Castro street drinking and dining are a significant portion of City Revenues. Rather than smoking in the parking lots, if all smokers and their non-smoking friends organize a one-day "smoke free" day, the obvious spike or dip in tax revenue should be obvious to all as a "put your money where your mouth is" referendum.

Unfortunately, I can't take it on because I have not had money to eat on Castro St regularly for about 3 yrs anyway.

Posted by Cindy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:01 am

Why is it that I never hear the council doing anything about the gangs in Mountain View? Yay way to go Mountian View go after the smokers and not the gangs. At least smoking takes a really long time to kill you!

Posted by Cindy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:33 am

I go for a walk downtown every day. I always think to myself why don't they just put ashtrays out when I see all the cigarette butts on the street. So no ashtrays when you can smoke but now you are spending 14,000 on ashtrays when smoking is banned? Makes no sense.

Posted by Jed Carrey
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

I am happy that I needn't breathe someone's smoke as it drifts around my table at restaurants. Good job, city council, at fixing this loophole.

The remark about using enforcement money for smoking education gave me a chuckle.

Posted by sEaN
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

I hate the way dirty smokers make the air smell. Who gives smokers the right to light up near a non smoker? You are not just "granted" the privilege to blow toxins around me.The only way this can get better is if residents can use the non emergency number and report you dirty smokers.

Posted by Litsa
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

All these anti-smoking policies are ridiculous. There is no (legitimate) scientific proof that second hand smoke will kill you any faster than breathing air pollution.

These ads to brainwash society needs to be put to better use, like how obesity is a national epidemic and a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.

Sure cigarette smoke stinks, but eating bad foods will kill you a lot faster than walking by a smoker.

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

The county dangles a little money in front of the council and they pounce on it.

Just another piece of our freedom being taken away. $50 at a time.

What a shame.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

""Of her own children, Hagiwara said, "I told them I would prefer them to smoke marijuana than cigarettes."" So the preference is a bunch of pot heads walking around town? Priceless!

Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

If you sit at one of the outdoor restaurants/cafe's you have a greater risk of breathing harmful chemicals than second hand smoke coming from 30 feet away.

A better way of spending our money would be to provide treatment for people wishing to stop smoking. As a smoker I have many times over stopped smoking but somehow ended up smoking again. I don't need to hear people tell me I'm weak or anything like that because fact is I am a strong willed man with a very nasty addiction. I would jump at the chance to stop but I can't afford it since being laid off. Mtn View could have easily found a way to put the money towards helping people.

Posted by HOORAY!!
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Writing from what seems to be a minority position here, CITY COUNCIL, THANK YOU FOR THIS SMOKING BAN! I hope you'll be able to make it stick.

Posted by funny
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Best parts of the article:

"This is potentially discriminating to me as a disabled smoker."

"Of her own children, Hagiwara said, "I told them I would prefer them to smoke marijuana than cigarettes""


Posted by Laura Macias
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

While I am not a Voice reporter council favorite, I did speak in vocal opposition to the enhanced smoking ban in dining areas while supporting no smoking in picnic areas in parks. Smoking in regulated spaces in restaurants and bars makes sense to me. Certainly some consideration of others is required and most smokers comply.
Moving smoking out to the parking lot is not a great solution.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Go ahead and organize a "smoke free" day to keep smokers from shopping downtown. To be fair, make sure it's advertised widely so the non-smokers can show their support and fill the gap. You'll quickly find out that the businesses will hardly notice a change (except that it may smell a lot better).

It's funny how hard a smoker will fight to keep damaging their body and don't care about what it does to anyone else. It's funny how addictions work like that. Aside from the health reasons they also seem to have no concern about how that nasty smell affects a pleasant dining experience. Again, addictions make people selfish.

I'm not a lib in any way but good riddance to smoking. It's not going to stop anyone from doing it, you'll just have to go a little further to do it (and we may even get additional parking lot security for no additional cost....way go city council!).

Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Laws should be informed by the norms of our society. Let's do a thought experiment.

Let's say Alice is smoking in an outdoor dining area. Beth at the next table has asthma and starts gasping for air and coughing violently from the smoke. What would be the polite way to solve this problem? Should Alice be polite and stop smoking so Beth doesn't cough? Or should Beth be polite and leave her meal so Alice can keep smoking?

I think the onus is on Alice to stop smoking. So I approve of this legislation.

Posted by Good
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Should we start discussing how each and every smoker is also a litter bug with their butts? Nah, they've had a tough day, we can save that one for well as the "drop the lit butt from your car" crowd.

Smokers, I'm sorry you are addicted to a drug, but that doesn't mean we have to tolerate your filters(aka syringes) all over the ground.
Evolve or die...that's no joke folks.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

All of these smoking restrictions have had no impact whatsoever on respiratory ailments since they began back in 1985. In fact, respiratory ailments are increasing.

Posted by Yah But
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Yes Ben, but _smoking related_ respiratory ailments are actually trending down, as is the number of smokers. Many cite the cost increase and recent restrictions as motivating them to quit.

Posted by Michael J. McFadden
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

"_smoking related_ respiratory ailments are actually trending down, "

Odd. I thought asthma among children had gone up by several hundred percent over the last 30 years.

As far as cost increases and restrictions motivating them to quit, I thought I'd heard people claiming that smoking was a worse addiction than heroin? Think a fifty cent increase in the price of a bag of horse and maybe a few restrictions making it less convenient to shoot up would help cut the heroin addiction rate?

According to the Prez of the American Medical Association they don't seem to be helping much with stopping people from *starting* to smoke though: Nov. 30th, 2011 Dr. Carmel said, "Despite tremendous progress in enacting smoke-free laws and higher tobacco taxes to discourage tobacco use, the (US) has seen smoking rates, especially among teens, remain flat with slight increases in cigar and smokeless tobacco use among teens and young adults."

Things aren't as simple as the Antismokers would like you to believe. Think a bit more about some of the things you hear and see if you can spot the lies. Check out "The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans" at:

Web Link

The style is a bit bombastic because it's meant for quick reading in dim bars and outdoor smoke-pits as a printout, but its facts are accurate and their presentation is honest. Feel free to offer any specific, substantive criticisms you like: I promise I won't mind and I'll try to stop back!


Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Please start enforcement at Dana St Coffee Roasting. They were maintaining a couple of disgusting smoking tables just a few feet outside the establishment.

Posted by Oldest lady in world smoked
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

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 is good at controlling ones weight.

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 for Centurion smokers.

Posted by Alex Musskind
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

I don't want people to smoke around me and my dinner. Thank you city council.

The ordinance restricts a small area from smoking, so if you think this ordinance was to help people quit smoking, you are not looking at it clearly. If a smoker wants to quit, there are plenty of resources and educational material available.

I don't care whether you smoke or not — after all, it's your body — just don't infringe on my rights, don't do it around me and my dinner.

Posted by mrtuvok
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

For those of you that complain about people smoking around you and your dinner, let's get something straight here! First of all, there are less than a dozen places in Mountain View that allow patio smoking to begin with! Second, these places are all very well known as smoking permitted establishments. Third, NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO COME THERE AND EAT OUTSIDE WHERE THE SMOKERS SIT!!! Smokers are entitled to enjoy all the same benefits of non-smokers. The vast majority of smokers are very polite and try to avoid blowing smoke in anyone's direction. If you think this ban will reduce so-called second hand smoke, you are in for a shock! If all the smokers are forced out into the sidewalks and streets, non-smokers will find out just how stupid this decision was. We are still fighting for our rights and if you truly want to be safer from second hand smoke, speak out against this ridiculous ban! The final vote is on Feb 14th at 6:30pm at City Hall. Come make your voice heard!

Posted by William
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

The real problem is smokers in houses with small children. The little ones are more susceptible and can not get away from the smoke as can all of us adults.

Door to door searches will be needed to combat this issue. Awards should be given to neighbors who turn in offenders. Children should be placed in foster homes, parents in prison and so on and so on until everything is just fine.

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