Smokers looking for a place to enjoy a drag while they dine or have drinks will have to look to another city to smoke very soon.
The Orchard City has passed an additional smoking ban to include outdoor dining and public parks and a 20-foot no-smoking buffer around them.
It also is moving forward with a look at a proposed tobacco retailer permit.
At the Sept. 20 City Council meeting, various representatives of local and national organizations came out to speak and advocate for the smoking ban.
"A part of the mission statement of the American Cancer Society is that we are dedicated to eliminating cancer," Linda Roma said at the council meeting. "Research clearly states that secondhand smoke in any degree poses a major health problem. About 49,000 people will die each year from secondhand smoke alone."
"When I take my grandchildren to the parks in Campbell, I want them to be in a smoke-free atmosphere," Roma continued. "I want to make sure that my grandchildren grow up in a smoke-free environment."
Campbell is not alone in its efforts. Cupertino, San Jose and Saratoga as well as the county of Santa Clara all have smoke-free park ordinances.
According to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, from 2004-09, the smoking rate for Campbell was 14.5 percent, compared with its neighbor San Jose, where it was 12.9 percent. Santa Clara County's smoking rate during this same time period was 11.2 percent.
According to the department, the data available shows that smoking rates have declined since 2004. In 2009, the smoking rate for the county was 10 percent and for San Jose 11 percent. The sample size for Los Gatos was too small to report an estimate.
Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale are all in the process of creating smoke-free park ordinances.
"I would like to see a book sign that says, 'Welcome to Campbell, a smoke-free city,'" Vice Mayor Mike Kotowski said at the meeting.
He, along with Councilmen Rich Waterman, Evan Low and Mayor Jason Baker, all voted in favor of the ban. Only Councilman Jeff Cristina voted against it.
"It frustrates me a bit," Cristina said at the meeting. "This will force a lot of people out of the city. If these two pass, they (smokers) have streets and sidewalks, and their homes. That’s about it."
The council first began looking into additional bans on smoking . Invitations to a community meeting in May were sent out to 121 businesses that may be impacted, but only two came out.
, and the , which all have outdoor seating, will all be affected by the approved ban.
Cracking Down with a Tobacco Retailer Permit
Smoking isn't just an adult issue. It also impacts the lives of local high school students.
The second item in the discussion is a proposed tobacco retailer permit.
The purpose of having this permit in place, as explained by the council on Sept. 20 was to enforce the consequences of selling tobacco products to minors.
"The point is not to make money but to bring down the hammer on those selling to kids," Baker said. "There’s absolutely no excuse for businesses selling tobacco to kids. If you sell it to a kid, we should be able to take your license away. There should be a zero tolerance for those that sell tobacco to kids. And all I want is to have a hammer that is big and heavy and serious."
According to Santa Clara County Public Health's Fact Sheet on Tobacco Retailer Licensing:
- The 2009‐10 California Healthy Kids Survey found that 15 percent of 11th-graders in the smoked a cigarette in the last 30 days.
- According to a 2010 enforcement operation coordinated by the , one in every four city tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors.
- Nearly a quarter of Santa Clara County middle school students and two‐thirds of Santa Clara County high school students who smoke cigarettes report that it is easy to get cigarettes.
San Jose and the county of Santa Clara have already adopted tobacco retail-licensing policies. At the moment, the cities of Gilroy, Cupertino, Milpitas and Sunnyvale are also studying the possibility of a tobacco retail license.
The council instructed staff to move forward with a study of a potential tobacco retailer permit program.
What Campbell Has Already Done
In 1995, the city adjusted its smoking ordinance to reflect changes that came with the passage of Assembly Bill 13, also known as California's Law for a Smoke-free Workplace. The revision to the city ordinance made it illegal to smoke in an enclosed place of business.
In 2008, Campbell recognized that tobacco smoke was a public nuisance and banned smoking establishments such as hookah lounges and cigar shops with smoking rooms.
The current ordinance in Campbell prohibits smoking in the following places, with these exceptions:
ExceptionElevators 65 percent hotel/motel guest rooms Buses and other means of transport 25 percent hotel/motel lobbies Public restrooms Private function meeting/banquet rooms (without food or beverages) Indoor service lines Truck cabs Hearing rooms of the City Council Warehouse facilities Within every room of a public assembly building during public meetings Gaming and bingo clubs Health facilities Theater productions (as part of the story) All enclosed places of employment Medical research treatment (related to smoking)
Patient smoking areas
Employer-designated break rooms
Small businesses (fewer than five employees)