Smoking Ban Rejected in Pleasant Hill


This week authorities of Pleasant Hill city rejected a suggestion to extend smoking ban to shopping centers and downtown. Michael Harris, the mayor of Pleasant Hill, has pushed rules that ban smoking in public places in the city. It is him who suggested the new restrictions.

He got many complaints from citizens who were worried about secondhand smoke at restaurants with outdoor seating in the downtown.  Today in Pleasant Hill city there are few places where smokers may light up a cigarette.

Before the meeting Harris said that it is a normal thing to ask authorities to examone if smoking ban in downtown is reasonable enough. However, the anti-smoking initiative failed on a 2 – 2 vote (Harris together with Councilman Tim Flaherty voted for the ban and councilmen Jack Weir and Ken Carlson voted against it). Councilman David Durant was absent from the meeting

In September Walnut Creek implemented an ordinance that bans smoking in all public places including leisure zones, multiunit housing and in downtown. Recently Concord extended no-smoking zone around Todos Santos Plaza.  Jack Weir said that he respects citizen’s desire to stay away from secondhand smoke. Several speakers asked if there may be adopted a smoking ban in Pleasant Hill. Police Chief John Moore said that police have received numerous calls about individuals smoking in prohibited zones, but when officers they are already gone

In 2006 smoking was prohibited in and near city-owned facilities and in many places of work. In order to lower exposure to secondhand smoke, in 2010 the City Council introduced special rules that ban smoking at bus stations, ticket lines and at outdoor events on city property.

In the ordinance proposed by the Mayor, there was suggested that smoking ban to be applied to housing with most outdoor and indoor places to go smoke-free. Thus by 2016, owners must make 50% of existing apartment units smoke-free.  Several years ago, Park District and the Pleasant Hill Recreation prohibited smoking in all parks, hiking trails, open spaces, parking areas. According to the law smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of a playground.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that secondhand smoke has negative effects on human;s health. Since 2009, many Contra Costa cities have introduced severe anti-smoking rules. Martinez is the first city in the county which prohibited smoking in most public places.

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