Mission Viejo City Council Votes Against Smoking Ban
The Mission Viejo City Council yesterday voted against enacting what would have been "one of the toughest anti-smoking ordinances in the nation" and instead voted 3-2 in favor of drafting a less-restrictive ordinance, the Los Angeles Times reports (McKibben, Los Angeles Times, 9/17). The ordinance rejected by the council would have banned people from smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and chewing tobacco on all property owned or leased by the city. The ordinance also would have banned 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 have been enforced on public streets, highways or the public right of way (California Healthline, 9/16). Before the council voted, city residents gave "hours of emotional testimony," many of them in support of the more restrictive ban. However, some residents accused the council of "taking on the role of 'Big Brother' by trying to legislate personal behavior." Council member William Craycraft, who voted to re-draft the ordinance, said, "I'll do anything I can to support public health within the bounds of fairness for all concerned, but this goes beyond what state law requires." The draft ordinance will be no more restrictive than state law, which allows smoking in parks but not in public buildings or on public playgrounds, the Times reports. Closing debate and a vote on the revised ordinance will be held in the next few weeks (Los Angeles Times, 9/17).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.