Tougher smoking ban passed for San Luis Obispo

April 7, 2010

San Luis Obispo, the first city in the nation to crack down on smoking in public, adopted even more stringent regulations Tuesday night. [KSBY]

The city council voted four to one to make it even more difficult to smoke in public, with new restrictions to ban smoking in city parking garages and parking lots, and on city streets and sidewalks.

Last night’s action puts San Luis Obispo on track with 100 other cities in California who have recently passed tougher laws about smoking in public places.

The smoking ban includes Mission Plaza and all city dog parks.

One exemption was given to “The Sanctuary,” a popular fixture in the downtown since 1973. Store owner Doug Shaw is being given six months to install a separate ventilation system. Council members appeared reluctant to put a long-time store out of business.

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Really, I don’t need the city council to tell me I shouldn’t smoke. It’s about as helpful as when some idiot tells me it on the street, as though I’m not aware. Really all this is going to mean for me is that while I’m at work downtown I’ll be a jittery mess, or maybe chew on nicotine gum like Robert Downy Jr. in a business meeting, and then go home and smoke.

I try to be as considerate as humanly possible when I smoke in public. If I can I give people who aren’t smoking a wide distance, I keep buts in aluminum foil in my pocket so I can throw it out if there isn’t an ashtray around. Still, I get glares from people who don’t know a thing about me other than I’m a smoker.

News flash getting a whiff of cigarette smoke here in there isn’t going to make you keel over and die. Everyone from Italy and France that I ever met smoke, and guess what they have a longer life expectancy. I’m not saying it’s healthy, I know it’s not, but maybe we should focus on the issues that are making that discrepancy. How about we ban cars and fast food from town so people can’t eat that artery clogging mess, and have to actually be active to get from point A to point B. And while we’re at it let’s give everyone a stamp card and after a certain amount of fast food in a week or month they get banned from health care since that is just, if not more, unhealthy and so many people seem so keen to be so regulatory about it.