Town Square

Post a New Topic


Original post made by Jim Neal, another community, on Mar 23, 2012

Less than a month after the Mountain View City Council passed its controversial draconian anti-smoking ordinance which takes effect in May, the Sunnyvale City Council considered a very similar ordinance this past Tuesday (March 20th).

Both sides were very well represented at the meeting which lasted until nearly midnight. The Sunnyvale City Council appeared to be very well informed about the aspects of the changes to the ordinance itself and the majority of their questions were to supporters and opponents of the ban regarding health and safety issues as well as private property and individual rights.

Supporters of the ban told stories of relatives that had died as a result of smoking related illnesses, quoted surgeon general statistics, and brought in jars filled with thousands of cigarette butts that they said had been collected in the City's public parks.

Opponents to the ban , which included many business owners on Murphy Avenue, pointed out that the businesses on Murphy Ave were just starting to recover after the redevelopment of the streets there. All the bars there have clientele from 10% to 50% that are smokers, and all contended that their businesses would be greatly harmed should the patio smoking ban pass. Other opponents, including myself, pointed out that while the smoking related deaths were regrettable, everyone that smokes chooses to do so.

I gave the example of my own Grandmother who died from a smoking related illness, but while she was alive, threw parties every week and also drank. In other words, she enjoyed her life to the fullest! I told the Council that I intended to do the same and that no one has a right to tell me how to live my life.

A Stanford University study was also provide which showed that exposure to second hand smoke in an outdoor setting has minimal to no effect unless you are sitting less than a foot away or there is heavy smoke in the area. With a strong wind the smoke can reach up to about 6 1/2 feet.

I also collected 110 signatures in one week from patrons, employees, and owners of the affected businesses. Although the city had its own online survey of over 460 people, I pointed out that there was no way to know if the people filing out the online survey had even ever visited the affected businesses.

The Sunnyvale City Council made a balanced decision that should have been very satisfactory to both sides. They decided to ban smoking in children's areas and in public parks and rejected the idea of banning smoking on business patios and golf courses.

This solution, I believe would have worked perfectly well in Mountain View also. It will be interesting to see in the next few months how much business Castro Street will lose to Murphy avenue. If this happens, we will all know why.

Jim Neal

Old Mountain View

Comments (5)

Like this comment
Posted by Tim Wulff
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

What no one seems willing to address on this issue is the fact that the FDA and the Federal govt. are appalling corrupt and controlled by tobacco on this issue.

Nicotine, proven to be the most addictive substance to human beings on the planet is not classified as an addictive drug.

The governments and many people, while unwilling to control the problem at its source - nicotine -, are nonetheless perfectly willing to invade the lives of countless millions and violate their rights to privacy and punish them with taxes, fines and regulations while turning a completely blind eye and silent mouths to the true source of the problem.

All those rightfully concerned with the horrific health effects of this additive habit ought to turn their attentions to correcting the true source of the problem - our corrupt,
special interest-representative Federal government.

Perfect Socialist insanity.

Like this comment
Posted by rich smoke
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

"our corrupt, special interest-representative Federal government. Perfect Socialist insanity."

what the heck are you smoking?

"Perfect Socialist insanity" because I don't have to breath smoke in a restaurant?

Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Cancer from smoking is killing off hundreds of thousands since our tobacco companies started selling them in vast quantities.
They are now looking for a way to cut down their deaths by encouraging birth rate.
I think it's a swell idea for Sunnyvale. It will have the Mengele effect of getting rid of the overweight who think it will cut appetites.
If you haven't been to China, may I suggest the remarkable experience and you do not become an automatic "COMMIE".....

Like this comment
Posted by C A M
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I'm very happy with the new Mountain View ordinance. It's finally possible to go to a club, and enjoy the outside patio without being subjected to great volumes of second-hand smoke; it's also no longer a problem with the smoke getting inside the club itself, which caused me great annoyance in the past. All my friends like it, too; we used to avoid the patio when clubbing, since there was no fresh air at all; not anymore!

I will frequent Mountain View more often now that they have a strict anti-smoking ordinance in place. Sunnyvale banning smoking in public parks is also a great idea; and the decision to exclude golf courses is actually sensible, too -- people who can afford to go golfing can surely find a smoke-free course should they be annoyed by the smokers (but the same would not be true about public parks, which should be accessible and enjoyable for everyone, and not just smokers).

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

C A M:

let me know when you find a "car exhaust free community." Oh, and a "wood smoke free" community. How about a "bbq smoke free" community? And while we're at it how about a "perfume and cologn free" community?

How about this? How about we just learn to live with each other without restricing each others freedoms?

Let the flaming of the anti-smoking crowd begin....

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 2,834 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,047 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 991 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 662 views