South Pasadena Snuffs Out Sidewalk Smoking

Published : Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 11:10 AM

When you’re in South Pasadena, you should be aware that the city has passed an expanded smoking ban that prohibits smoking on public sidewalks, parkways, walkways — even gutters and curbs.

The ordinance passed on a unanimous vote on second reading last week during the South Pasadena City Council’s meeting.

It will be in effect after 30 days and will expand the current ordinance, which bans smoking in all enclosed indoor public places such as public meeting rooms, public restrooms, elevators, theaters and auditoriums, restaurants and bars, supermarkets, museums, all libraries within the City of South Pasadena, and unenclosed outdoor places including public parks, public transportation facilities and vending vehicles.

The expanded ban, which would require violators to pay a $100 fine, is the result of research efforts by South Pasadena city staff and a campaign led by South Pasadena resident Gisella Benitez, who has been pushing for the amendments since she lost her husband, Ricardo, to lung cancer last year. Benitez believes second-hand smoke may have contributed to her husband’s ailment; he was not a smoker.

The City Council also heard public concerns about the effects of second-hand smoke to children walking to school, and encountering second-hand smoke on the sidewalk and on roadways.

With the passage of the amendment, South Pasadena would be among over 40 other California cities such as Burbank, Agoura Hills, Manhattan Beach, Laguna Beach, Calabasas, Oceanside, Del Mar, Santa Monica and San Rafael, that have banned smoking in public places and on sidewalks.

As for Pasadena, the city has adopted a number of restrictions on public smoking. In 2008, smoking was banned in outdoor shopping and dining areas, in ATM and movie ticket lines, within 20 feet of building entrances and at outdoor events like the Rose Parade. In 2011, smoking was banned in apartments and condos.

California, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, is one of three states with the fewest number of smokers, at 11 percent of the population. Utah is first on the list with 8 percent, and Connecticut is third at 13.3 percent.

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