Taking up the habit

Taking up the habit

Pasadena City Council set to discuss smoking ban for apartments and condos

By Jake Armstrong 03/31/2011

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Pasadena City Council members will consider further snuffing out tobacco smoke in the city when they discuss a clampdown on lighting up near condos and apartments Monday night.
After more than a year of discussion in committee on such a ban, the council will debate declaring secondhand smoke a public nuisance as well as placing smoking prohibitions on patios, balconies and common areas of residential complexes with two or more units. 
Violations would be an infraction, but the ordinance would not extend to all 33,717 multi-family units in the city until 2014, the deadline city staff is proposing.
Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, a member of the Public Safety Committee, which has been discussing the issue for the past year, said she leaned toward supporting a ban because nonsmokers — about 88 percent of the city’s population — have no other ways to avoid smoke at home.
“I think it is an issue we have to address as a city,” she said. “As much as it is an individual right for someone to smoke or engage in that activity, it is also someone else’s right not to be subjected to it.”
But in a city that has already acted to ban smoking in most public places, the question among supporters is, Why the wait?
After living with secondhand smoke for 20 years, Nancy Sagatelian, one of the most vocal supporters of the ordinance, says the nearly three-year phase-in period city staff proposes is too long of a wait for people already living with unwanted smoke in their apartments.
“There’s no need for something that long. We’re not trailblazing,” she said, adding that several other cities with similar ordinances acted in as little as 17 months to enact a full ban. South Pasadena and Glendale have both enacted bans in recent years.
How a city shedding staff and cutting budgets will enforce a new anti-smoking ordinance is another question. But Sagatelian believes that may be an overreaction. “Once we pass this ordinance they won’t have to work on this issue anymore and they can concentrate their efforts on enforcement,” Sagatelian said.
In 2009, the Pasadena City Council unanimously outlawed smoking outdoors at shopping malls, bars, restaurants and near lines for ATMs or movie tickets. Five years prior to that, the council voted to prohibit smoking in city parks and within 20 feet of workplace entrances.
A multi-unit smoking ordinance would have benefits beyond better health, and support is widespread among those it would affect, according to city staff. 
Fourteen fires — six in brush, three at structures, one in the trash and four others — have been associated with tobacco use, according to the Pasadena Fire Department. A ban could reduce maintenance and fire insurance costs, city staff said.
Nearly 80 percent of residents in multi-unit buildings said they wanted to keep smoke from entering their apartments, with 72 percent supporting an all-out tobacco ban for their building, according to a city survey of multi-unit dwellers.
The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena.

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Hi guys. If the measure passes, by 2014 smoking inside all individual apartments and condos would be illegal in Pasadena, not just in common areas. Passing the nuisance part of the ordinance would mean that neighbors could complain about smoking by their neighbors, even in single family homes, and the Health Department could come out and cite the neighbor smoking in their single family home to the tune of $100 for the first infraction up to $500.

That is for performing a legal activity in the privacy of your own home.

posted by Paul Little on 3/31/11 @ 09:53 a.m.

Ah, harrassment paradise for the nanny-state politician! This kind of institutional oppression has more to do with revenue-enhancement than it does public safety!

So, how does a despot advance the expansion of a police state? Simple, regulate EVERYTHING by law! And then offer the public a generic "reward" for snitching on anybody who appears to be in violation of those laws.

Do know this, infraction-law is the newest wave of future law-enforcement. This is because infraction court need not provide a defendant with legal council even while an infraction court "judge" is -- by default -- the govenment's primary (punitive tax-assessing) advocate.

Coming soon to a CSI drama on your video screen:

"Well your honor, I noticed a cigarette butt on the ground while passing by that apartment door. I also smelled at the time what I thought was tobacco smoke. I knocked on the door and nobody inside answered. Then I heard a noise inside and decided that this gross criminal conduct must be addressed. After kicking the door in, I was confronted by what I thought was a midget with a firearm. After blowing several holes through the child, I discovered that it was only a hair dryer.

Even so, under the state's new guidelines of collateral guilt, you still should be able to charge the mother with her daughter's death because she was in possession of a half-pack of unsmoked cigarettes.

Hang-em high.


posted by DanD on 3/31/11 @ 02:01 p.m.

Once in a while we have a California mayor with guts.

The American Lung Association (which is also pimping for this Pasadena multi-unit housing smoking ban) wrote a letter to Mayor Randy Voepel of Santee, CA.

"On January 20, 2011, the American Lung Association in California released our annual State of Tobacco Control Report Card, which graded all the cities on key tobacco control policies. Santee received an overall grade of F for its policies in the year 2010 ..."

"... For the 2011 reporting period, Santee could achieve a C grade by establishing a policy whereby at least 75% of units in multi-unit dwellings must be non-smoking ..."

And Mayor Voepel wrote back that the ALA could take their "F" grade and stuff it.

" ... They (the ALA) may see it as a grade of "F" from their perspective, as our being graded a failure: I see this grade of "F" from our perspective as being the highest grade for "FREEDOM" we could earn ..."

"Multi-unit housing is private property. The property owners have the FREEDOM to set the smoking policy as they see fit. If renters don't like the policy, they move out or not rent in the first place If it would give an owner competitive advantage, maybe they would have no-smoking units ..."

"Respectfully submitted,
Randy Voepel, Mayor, The Freedom loving City of Santee"

posted by jsidney on 4/03/11 @ 02:38 a.m.

Let's see if I can type that URL again and type it right. The article is too good to miss. It has links to the ALA's unctuous letter and everything.


Mayor Voepel is a fiercely anti-nanny state politician. We need more of him in California. You need a few of him on the Pasadena City Council.

posted by jsidney on 4/03/11 @ 02:52 a.m.
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