Oceanside to Review Smoking Ban


Oceanside, a city in California, in December plans to review its decision to not prohibit smoking in restaurant patios. City Council of Oceanside considered a smoke-free ordinance last year in June but the initiative did not receive a necessary support and therefore was not voted.

Today Oceanside is the only coastal city in North County which still permits smoking in outdoor dining areas. The initiative to review the no smoking proposal belongs to Chuck Lowery, the Councilman who was elected recently and sworn in to office. Councilman Jerry Kern oppsed to smoking ban in 2013. She agreed to bring the proposal back to City Council this time.

Last week, representatives of Vista Community Clinic made presentations on the effects of secondhand smoke on health at Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and the MainStreet Oceanside meetings. Gena Knutson, Vista Community Clinic tobacco control program manager, told that a report on effects of secondhand smoke was presented. Thus data shows that smoking ban in restaurant patios in San Diego County did not affect business.

However, Kern told that outdoors smoking ban in restaurants should be a decision not imposed by city law but by restaurant owners.  In Oceanside almost two-thirds of restaurants voluntarily prohibited smoking and therefore the law is not needed. He considers that smoking in some restaurants should be allowed.

In his turn, Knutson considers that there is a need to protect people on their workplaces from secondhand smoke. People have the right to breathe fresh air at their workplaces.

In 2013, there was proposed to prohibit smoking in restaurant patios at public streets but allow smoking in private properties.

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