October 11, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Adam Radinsky,
Deputy City Attorney, Head, Consumer Protection Unit, (310) 458-8327
The Santa Monica City Council last night voted 6-0 to give
preliminary approval to an ordinance that will prohibit smoking in a
number of new outdoor areas. Those locations are:
1. All outdoor dining areas
2. Within 20 feet of all entrances, exits and open windows of
buildings open to the public
3. The Third Street Promenade
4. All outdoor waiting areas (such as ATMs, bus stops and movie
5. All farmers markets
The Council’s action was what is known as the "first reading" of the
ordinance. The second reading is scheduled for October 24. If
adopted then, the ordinance would become effective 30 days later or
Thanksgiving Day, November 23.
The Council’s action was prompted by a February 2006 report of the
California Air Resources Board (CARB) which officially deemed
tobacco smoke a Toxic Air Contaminant. The CARB report found that
outdoor levels of tobacco smoke can rise to the same concentrations
found indoors. It also noted new scientific evidence linking
second-hand smoke with increased breast cancer rates in younger,
non-smoking women – among many other serious health effects in
children and adults.
In addition, on June 26, 2006, United States Surgeon General Richard
Carmona issued a landmark report on second-hand smoke. That report
concluded, among other things, that there is no risk-free level of
exposure to secondhand smoke. The report cited "massive and
conclusive scientific evidence" showing that second-hand smoke
causes premature death and disease in adults and children including
cancer, cardiovascular disease and asthma.
The City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit investigated the recent
scientific studies, researched smoking laws in other cities and
states, and conducted outreach with local business, tourism and
other organizations. The City Attorney’s staff report recommended
all of the restrictions approved by Council.
law already prohibits outdoor smoking at all parks, beaches, and the
Santa Monica Pier.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How would the law be enforced?
As with Santa Monica’s previous smoking restrictions, the
primary means of enforcement would be education, awareness,
and voluntary compliance. If necessary, and if a smoker
refuses a request to stop smoking in a prohibited location,
police officers may also give citations.
2. Could businesses be cited under the new law?
No. Unlike the statewide indoor-workplace law, Santa
Monica’s outdoor smoking ordinance does not create liability
for business owners. Business owners generally are expected
to request that their customers obey the law – as with
similar laws prohibiting indoor smoking, fighting, and
disturbing the peace. However, the ordinance would not place
any legal requirements on business owners.
3. Would this law mean smoking would be prohibited in all of
downtown Santa Monica?
No. As long as a smoker is more than 20 feet from an
entrance, exit or open window of the nearest building,
smoking will still be allowed. In locations where business
entrances are packed more closely together, smoking would
not be allowed.
4. Where can people go who are on the Third Street Promenade and
want to smoke?
On every cross street off of Third Street, from Broadway to
Wilshire, there places that are more than 20 feet from the
nearest business entrance and where smoking would be allowed
under this law.
5. What would be the maximum penalty for violations?
$250. Violations would be deemed an infraction, similar in
nature to a jaywalking citation.
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