Town Square

Smoking ban takes effect Tuesday

Original post made on May 11, 2012

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 11, 2012, 12:00 AM


Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

It will be interesting to see if those who claimed that this ban would bring droves of new customers to the few places that catered to smoking clientele are right or not. I walked down Castro Street at 7:30 pm last night and there were no clouds of smoke coming out of the bars and restaurants either on the street or even out back near the parking lot although there were several people inside smoking at the time.

I also did not see any evidence of the new cigarette friendly trash cans that were promised by the city when it passed this travesty of an ordinance.

I take issue with the statement in this article that it was the bars and nightclubs that fiercely opposed the ban. It was over 1000 customers!!!! I and many others spent two months fighting the ban here and in Sunnyvale, and gathering the 1083 signatures that the council chose to ignore.

We opposed the ban because it is an attack on our rights which is fueled by junk science and petty people that can't stand to see someone enjoying themselves doing something they don't like.

Smokers are one of the few minorities that can legally be discriminated against and we see the result of that. If discrimination against a group is legal, there are those that will be all too happy to do so.

Smokers pay more than our fair share of health care costs as well as for all the public programs that Californians have become addicted to via all the extra taxes we pay for our tobacco products.

The city has seen fit to create a problem where no problem existed because a few people on the council think they know what is best for others and want to tell people how to live their lives.

The last time I looked, nobody had dropped dead from second hand smoke in any of the affected bars or restaurants.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Posted by Rosalia
a resident of Castro City
on May 12, 2012 at 3:54 am

Why should anyone treat smokers better than they are treating themselves. Somkers are killing themselves, and also impose a huge financial burden on the health system, yet expect to be treated like regular, addiction-free citizens. That is an absolute contradiction.

If smokers decide to carry on with their disgusting filthy addition, you have to live with people not wanting you. Face the facts. Shut and and live with it or quit!!!

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Rosalia, thanks for proving my point for me. I suppose you also think that people who are overweight should be discriminated against also because of the "burden" they place on the health care system? How about the elderly? Children who are born with mental or physical defects?

The fact is that smokers DO NOT place any more burden on the health care system than anyone else. As a matter of fact, smokers SAVE the health care system money as reported in this article from the New York Times:

Web Link

You may want to check your facts as well as your spelling and grammar! By the way, if you had bothered to read any of my other posts here, you would know that I smoke cigars. I do not smoke because I am addicted to nicotine, I smoke because I enjoy the taste of a well made cigar, and because it is my choice not yours!

People who are sanctimonious and self-righteous will always seek to impose their beliefs on others and is the very reason that I am glad that we have a Constitution that protects most of our rights. Without it, we would constantly be subjected to the tyranny of the majority.

It is not that people do not want us, we just want people like you to leave us alone and let us enjoy ourselves. I have a right to live my life as I see fit. If you don't like it, too bad!

Posted by Meter Madness
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 13, 2012 at 2:09 am

I think it's hilarious that you are worried about risks from cigarettes while allowing Smart Meters in your neighborhoods. If you're worried about skyrocketing health problems learn the truth about Smart Meters!

Posted by Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

Good point and good link Jim. You nailed it. Based on the city's flawed logic we should outlaw fast food joints. People who go there are killing themselves due to the increased risk of heart failure and diabetes (an epidemic now). Beyond that, fast food joints make people fat, and directly lead to their cars consume more gas to carry their fat around. The increased exhaust fumes make me feel ill. So it's a double whammy compared to smokers. On that point, has anyone ever stood by a diesel Caltrain as it bellow out filth. The city should outlaw that as well, or at least definitely prohibit fat people from riding. And don't stop at fast food, get rid of all the processed food at places like Safeway (about 90% of its inventory. Or how about just prohibiting cars from Mountain View. It's funny how in another article on HSR that the city wants to preserve the success and character of Castro Street by not blocking off the Caltrain end. Apparently the city can't live without cars spewing fumes up and down Castro (and I suppose the business owners along Castro that this city taxes would not be too happy either).

Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Isn't there any rights for those who are allergic to cigerette smoke, to children whose health is greatly harmed by it, to not have to put up with the smoke of others when they need to walk on Castro between stores and restaurants or homes, or do they need to be banned so that smokers can freely smoke anywhere? Why can't smokers smoke at home? Why do they need to smoke in public?

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

There are plenty of places non-smokers can go to get away from cigarette smoke. Stop whining. You are what is wrong with this country.

Posted by To Old Ben
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Old Ben,

You are rude. You are saying to avoid cigarette smoke, known to cause cancer, asthma, and be detrimental to the health of many, they need to stay away from public places, and you want them to stay away from downtown mountain view? Just because you like to smoke and have for a long time, doesn't make it good, nice, clean, heathly, or something you should do in public. Breast feeding is a positive, natural, beautiful and good thing, but many seem to frown on it in public, and thus it is almost never seen in restaurants or parks here. Why should smoking be given a more public acceptance? In fact, in what way is smoking even an acceptable public behavior of any kind? What benefit does it have? I cannot think of one.

Posted by nikonbob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Whenever I need a good laugh I just look up one of Old Ben's comments. In fact that goes for a good percentage of the 'regulars' on this site.

And it's even more amusing that they probably think the majority of people share their views.

Pretty funny...

Posted by smoker
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

You can still smoke in the same places...just make sure you are "actively passing from one destination to another"...aka walking.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

They should ban fat people.

Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

"It is not that people do not want us, we just want people like you to leave us alone and let us enjoy ourselves. I have a right to live my life as I see fit. If you don't like it, too bad!"

Right on Jim. You nailed it.

How about instead of blaming smokers and asking them to change their habit, we blame the big tobacco companies that are selling them addictive poisons. Put them out of business. It might be easier than getting all smokers to quit.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Help me, big brother. I am too ignorant and needy to accept responsibility for my own free will.

Posted by Rob G
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Smokers do not want to force second hand smoke on anyone.Why did the city council create a problem when there was none before they passed this unenforceable law. Have I as a business lost my right to choose who I serve?please follow the logic of this argument because anyone can be refused a given service if council decides its for the common good. Be careful of rights we give away so easily.

Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

It's not second hand smoke that kills, it's alcohol. That is the poison that kills.

Posted by Rob G
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Don't let some of the Council members know that alcohol is enjoyed by anyone because that would spell the end of any alcoholic drink in the Peoples Socialist Republic of Mt View

Posted by Renee' Quinn
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

I am shocked that smokers are catching such a rap. Why don't we just start bashing FAT FOLKS or DRUNKS .... they cost as much if not more to the health care industry. I am so upset that a few can tell us smokers what to do and what not to do. I am not trying to start a fight but really.... why not just roll up the streets of Mountain View and call it a day.

To me people that drink in excess are as bad if not worse than smokers. When people have a smoke they don't lose their minds and attack or hurt others. People that drink in excess sure do. When was the last time that someone smoking a cigarette while driving had a wreck and killed people. I just don't understand why smokers catch so much pain for their vice while others like people that over eat or drink seem to never have to hear from others about what they should or should not be doing.

I totally agree with Jim Neil and I will support him all the way to the White House.....

Posted by Tiffany moving from SoCal 9/2012
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

My fiancé and I are are 30-something smokers, and are relocating to the Mountain View area from Palm Springs in two weeks for his new job. I wasn't aware of the fact that we would be moving into a George Orwell dystopia akin to 1984....

As a Psychologist who directs Drug and Alcohol Rehabs, I would like to point to tthe fact that when a new client enters rehab, we advise them to continue smoking cigarettes as they adjust to life without alcohol and/or drugs. It is more likely that the client will be succesfully abstinent if they don't have to deal with the added stressor of quitting smoking. We call this the "Harm Reduction" model, whereby the drugs and alcohol are seen as the substances that are immediately and life-threateningly dangerous.

Under the argument that second-hand smoke is deadly to general public health, (a claim that has yet to be substantiated by any actual, methods-based, and reproducible scientific study), it then follows that all "public" alcohol consumption in the community of Mountain View should be prohibited, as there is a very high significant correlation with numerous deadly dangers, including traffic fatalities and violence.

I see the harm that "socially acceptable" vice, aka alcohol, does in my work on a daily basis, and I just have to laugh when I read ignorant comments, laws, and restrictions touting the dangers of cigarette smoke while ignoring the larger public crisis of substance abuse. Maybe the City Council of Mountain View could have actually done something effective to improve the health and well-being of it's citizens by taking that 50k grant and dedicating it to prevention of addiction and toward the treatment of struggling addicts and alcoholics.

I don't care who you are; you, or someone you love has struggled with addiction, whether it be drugs and alcohol, sex, technology, gambling, etc. Given the Extensively robust list of personal, familial, and social problems that arise as a result of the addictions I just mentioned, ask yourself this: Could that funding in excess of $50,000 maybe have been spent in a way that was of greater benefit to the "health" of the community?

If the Council is so worried about the effects that personal consumption of a substance has on another individual, I should think that their priority would be to mitigate the use of alcohol. Shouldn't all "public" places be alcohol-free? Can't people just drink in the privacy of their own homes? Why do they have to do it around me, someone who doesn't drink? I find it offensive and dangerous when another individual consumes alcohol and then gets behind the wheel. Yes, I am being sarcastic (I don't really believe in a ban on alcohol), but I hope you see my point. Alcohol is, after all, the most dangerous of those "legal" substances. It baffles me that the Council chose to use 50k to further regulate and discriminate against tobacco users. Tobacco is the least dangerous, but perhaps most trendy to criticize, of all the "substances" available for consumption in our great nation.



PS- Can anyone give recommendations for a cigarette and small dog-friendly apartment community or private rental? We can only afford to pay between 1100 and 1500 (non-profits don't pay that much ;) and we are having extreme difficulty finding a suitable place to live.