Morro Bay considering smoking ban

February 20, 2012

Morro Bay City Council voted 3-2 last week to ask its city attorney to draft a regulation that would ban smoking in all outdoor public places. [Tribune]

Both Mayor Bill Yates and Councilman George Leage voted against having City Attorney Rob Schultz draft the proposed regulation. Yates said a ban on sidewalk smoking would not be visitor friendly.

Supporters of the ban pointed at protecting public health and keeping cigarette butts out of the reach of children.

Currently, San Luis Obispo is the only municipality in the county that bans smoking outdoors in all public places. Both Atascadero and Arroyo Grande ban smoking in recreational areas.

Statewide, 56 cities and counties have enacted outdoor comprehensive smoking bans.

Morro Bay’s draft ordinance is scheduled to go back in front of the council on March 20.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Cigar smokers are the most annoying and many display arrogant behavior.

Imho, Cigar smoke stinks and carries long distance; they simply don’t care if someone objects.

So sad…

Now, I don’t smoke … it’s not something I enjoy. Although I might agree in principal with such a measure… I really think our local cities have bigger fish to fry.

Morro Bay seems to be taking it in the shorts business wise… so I hope before the great city officials close the town they will spend their last dollar on a monument letting others know what once was there.

I read that the SLO outdoor smoking ban in downtown didn’t effect business. I’ve also seen multiple people smoking in downtown SLO since the ban, but they were on some side street or alley. What I haven’t seen is the guy walking down farmers market in wall to wall people having a smoke. If that’s the result of the SLO law, then I’d say it was well worth it.

Smoke if you want, I say. But do it with some courtesy with strangers you are around. If you don’t, there will be more of these types of laws, IMO.

It’s never a good thing when your government tells you that you are not welcome somewhere.

Nancy Johnson, who pushed for this, actually said at the meeting that smokers could go to the back of a parking lot if they want to smoke, but only when there is no expectation of any other people coming around. How do you do that in a parking lot? Talk about being treated like a leper.

It’s also odd to me that the county tobacco control people make nice salaries and get awesome benefits and retirement packages all paid for by taxes on cigarettes.

Then they have the gall to go to town councils and urge them to ban smoking everywhere. They enlist school children to go up to the podium and start crying and tell the city council to ban smoking everywhere, this even though in 10 years, 20% of those same kids will be smoking themselves.

We should rename the town “Morro Ban.”

Morro Ban has a ban on drinking or even possessing any alcohol in city parks without a city permit. So if you’re having a picnic in a park or a family BBQ, some person could call the cops on you and have you ticketed because you had a can of beer or a glass of wine. You don’t even have to be drunk, just possessing a bottle of beer is enough to be cited.

Morro Ban also prohibits skateboarding anywhere in the downtown area, even on the street.

Morro Ban has a 10 p.m. curfew on week days, and 11 p.m. on weekends for anyone under 18.

Morro Ban prohibits sleeping overnight in a vehicle like an RV or camper, or anywhere outdoors, even in your own backyard, so no kiddie camp outs in the backyard.

Morro Ban already had a smoking ban on the beaches and the docks and T-piers (bet the fishermen really pay a lot of attention to that one).

So yes, I’d have to say that if you are a smoker, don’t come to Morro Ban, you are not welcomed here.

As for those of us who live here and smoke, I say smoke where ever you want, whenever you want.

I for one refuse to be pushed to the back of a parking lot. Nancy Johnson can go to hell.

Morro bay needs to ban ass’y politicians who think their shit dosent stink.

Does that mean that pot smokers can’t smoke in public even though a medical doctor says its good for me? What a life! People don’t even trust doctors anymore. ” Kiss my proverbial please”.

Does this mean that our tourists from inland, who have not smoked in their cars because they have driven with children, booked our nonsmoking motels, eaten in our smoke free restaurants and patronized

our galleries or shops must drive to cayucos to smoke ? That’s going too far. The trash issue is better policed by community service or parks and rec maintenance workers then mbpd

I do find the irony somewhat amusing considering how much smoking affects a great number of us; those of us who do not smoke have to pay a lot of costs associated with smoking. Almost every city/community has someone who is paid to clean up in public areas; if you really want an education, ask one of them what the percentage is of cigarette butts compared to everything else they gather up while cleaning public spaces. There is also the associated costs with healthcare for those who end up becoming ill due to cigarette smoke and I am not just talking about the smokers themselves, but those who become ill from “second hand smoke”. The idea put forth of designated outdoor areas like an off-leash dog park certainly has appeal; like those areas in the larger airports, the smell may be able to escape, but at least most of the associated mess is pretty well contained. Over at the Tribune, blogger “Joetopia” wrote a nice piece about smokers who toss their still-lit cigarette butts out of the window of their cars while driving down the road; his question is: “Who do you think you are?” IF the question of smoking in public outdoors was just about the smoke that will go where it wants to without regard to who is being affected, that would be one conversation, BUT, it is the waste, the cigarette butts that is the real culprit here, and I cannot for the life of me understand how it is that smokers apparently just do not see how much of an issue discarded cigarette butts are; it is as if they are selectively “blind” about seeing them everywhere, and I just don’t get it.

There shouldn’t be a total prohibition on smoking in public places. Smoking is healthy for social interaction, to ease tension and break the ice. Now society expects your relief to come in the form of an anti-anxiety and depression pill to keep you in your happy state.

Another step towards a totalitarian state…next we’ll have our own school brown lunch bag czar checking for carrot sticks.

I too, am not a smoker, and would state that I am much more concerned with teens buying alcohol then with smoking. I wish the smokers would stop smoking for a month and then let everyone see the amount of tax these people pay for the right to smoke. This County alone gets about 8 Million annually. The government can not have it both ways (well, maybe they can, some people think so…) if it is legal to smoke, then it is legal to smoke. At a minimum, give smokers designated smoking areas. We do it for the dogs, why not the smokers who are paying deeply for their right. This State collects millions in cigarette tax along with tax for cancer research with more to be taxed…. Something is wrong with this picture!

If smokers want help to quit smoking they need to call me. I quit after 54 years 4 or 5 packs a day. Easy to quit. PUT THEM DOWN AND LEAVE THEM DOWN. DON’T TALK ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS TO QUIT. IT IS EASY, TO QUIT JUST DO IT. AND BEST OF ALL DON’T PICK THEM UP AGAIN.


God Bless

Like danika, I don’t smoke etc. I do support the restaurant ban, no question. For me, the most obnoxious, annoying and arrogant behavior of most smokers is they feel it’s acceptable to toss the butts on the ground. I know many deny THEY are the ones who do that, yet the proof is on the ground. I do applaud considerate smokers! Offenders should be sited and fined for littering. I did have a good laugh when I read that Mayor Yates was against this ban as he is a chain smoker and that is why he constantly snacks during city council meetings, which shows total lack of respect and self control. I’m sure as mayor he always has the citizens best interest in mind……..

Smoking is a nasty dirty habit. Personally I get pissed cleaning up after smokers who come by. their butts just thrown on the ground where they please, some still smoldering. Butts in every container imaginable, stench of smoke. I just dont understand?

You ought to try smoking. It is really relaxing and self-satisfying. You make life-long friends that will and do talk about you non-smokers. I only quit because I had tp. My doc told me to so I did. Sometimes I walk along with smokers in order to get a whiff for old times sake. Brinks back fond memories. Blessings to you non-smokers. You don’t know what you’re missing.

I am not a smoker, have never been a smoker, nor will ever be a smoker. Having stated this, I am against the word “ban”. It seems a very popular and over used word in our local, state, and federal government’s law making dictionaries these days. Let’s ban the word “ban”!