Mission Viejo City Council To Vote on Expansive Public Smoking Ban
The Mission Viejo City Council will vote today on whether to ban smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and chewing tobacco on all property owned or leased by the city, which, if enacted, would be "[o]ne of the strictest anti-smoking proposals in the nation," the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. The ordinance also would ban smoking on recreational trails and in parks, sports fields, any open space areas, as well as in motor vehicles owned or leased by the city. The ordinance would not be enforced on public streets, highways or the public right of way. Violators would pay a $100 fine and would not be permitted to "retaliate against members of the public" who try to impose the ban. According to John Banzhaf, a George Washington University law professor and executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, the ordinance "could herald the next wave of anti-smoking laws." However, advocates for smokers' rights say the proposal is yet another "effort to stamp out" what they say is their right to smoke. "It doesn't surprise me -- not the way things have been going," Ray Domkus, president of smokers' rights group California Forces, said, adding, "If I have to pay property taxes for parks, why can't I enjoy that park?" (AP/Contra Costa Times, 9/15).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.