The City Council of Monterey Park has given the signal to its staff to come up with an ordinance draft that will ban smoking in outdoor dining patios and shopping areas.
After a presentation by the Clean Air for Everyone Council (CAFÉ), the Monterey Park authorities were convinced that something has to be done to control the effects of secondhand smoke especially to non-smokers. With the efforts of concerned citizens and students, smoking in places like the Atlantic Times Square will soon be illegal and those caught violating the rule will be penalized.
CAFÉ Program Coordinator Steven Gallegos said that from the 698 residents they surveyed, an overwhelming 96.1% believed secondhand smoke is dangerous and 81.1% said they will not be against any ordinance banning public smoking.
“We found there was an overwhelming response of yes, they’ve been exposed to secondhand smoke and they believed it was dangerous to their health and they wanted something done about it,” Gallegos said.
The city has an already existing smoking ban on public parks and buildings, and if the council approves the proposed legislation, they will join other cities like Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena that have already adopted similar smoking ban ordinances.
In a report from the Pasadena Star News, residents who have lived with smokers are in favor of the proposal to ban smoking in specific public areas. One supporter says, “I think it is, health wise, beneficial for everyone.”
Yet there are those who are against the move reasoning out that it would be a clear violation of their rights. Advocates against the smoking ban say “it’s an intrusion on people’s rights” and “people have the right to do it. It’s not illegal.”
CAFÉ is funded by the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988 through an agreement with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.