Berkeley Anti-Smoking Codes Already Stricter Than State’s New Laws
The city of Berkeley, one of the first localities in the nation to enact anti-smoking measures, "took little notice" of two of the three statewide anti-smoking laws that took effect on Jan. 1 because it already had "tougher" codes than the new laws, the Contra Costa Times reports. In one of the measures, the state banned smoking on all public or school playgrounds. Berkeley enacted a similar prohibition in July 2000. The city's law features "tougher enforcement and sign-posting provisions than the state law." The second new state law bans all "self-service" cigarette displays and requires stores to keep cigarettes behind the counter. Berkeley has a similar ban, and it also prohibits cigars in such displays. The third state law restricts the sale of "bidis" -- handrolled flavored Indian cigarettes -- to adult-only outlets. Berkeley has considered banning bidis outright, but has opted to watch other cities "test the legal waters," meaning the state ban will carry weight in the city. Berkeley officials are also considering several other anti-smoking measures, the Times reports, including an ordinance that would prohibit stores that sell tobacco products from opening within 1,400 feet of a school or park and "making permanent" a moratorium on new stores that "primarily" sell tobacco products. California has one of the lowest smoking rates in the country, which anti-smoking advocates say is a sign that "city and state efforts are paying off" (Cannon, Contra Costa Times, 1/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.