Second-Hand Smoke Action Prompts Regulations in San Diego County
Anti-smoking groups in San Diego County are pushing for new regulations to ban smoking at trolley stops and on beaches and restaurant patios after the California Air Resources Board last week designated second-hand smoke as a toxic air contaminant, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Del Mar City Council last week banned smoking at parks and beaches and might extend the ban to streets and sidewalks. The mayor of Chula Vista also is drafting an ordinance to ban smoking on all outdoor patio dining areas. In addition, Solano Beach is considering new restrictions on outdoor smoking.
The Tobacco Free Communities Coalition in San Diego and the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties on Tuesday released rankings for the county that identified county "leaders, contenders and laggards" in tobacco regulations, the Union-Tribune reports.
The groups found that about one-third of cities in San Diego County have stricter regulations than state laws that ban smoking in workplaces and within 20 feet of entrances to government buildings (Lee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/1).
The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and CDC have declined to endorse a California Environmental Protection Agency report that links secondhand smoke to an increased risk for breast cancer, USA Today reports.
Michael Thun, ACS' vice president of epidemiology, said that although a link between secondhand smoke and breast cancer is "certainly possible ... at this point, there is not broad scientific consensus."
Jonathan Samet, a senior scientific editor of a U.S. surgeon general report on secondhand smoke, which is expected to be released later this year, said, "The scientific community is still watching for the evidence to evolve" (Ritter, USA Today, 2/2).
In related news, five chapters of the American Lung Association have dropped their affiliation with the national organization to form Breathe California, the Sacramento Bee reports. Breathe California will comprise affiliates from Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco and Monterey.
Officials say the group will work with other similar organizations to promote cleaner air and continue past efforts, such as anti-smoking campaigns (Milbourn/Lau, Sacramento Bee, 2/1).