A ridiculous law has been passed in Calabasas, California that bans smoking outside. Next on the list: driving outside banned.
The new Calabasas secondhand smoke ordinance, which would prohibit smoking in all public areas of the city including parks, sidewalks and outdoor businesses, will take effect by the middle of March, city officials said.
Absolutely ignorant. But hey there's a bright spot in all of this. They have designated areas that you can smoke
- Private residential property, other than housing used as a childcare or health care facility when employees, children or patients are present
- Up to 20 percent of guest rooms in any hotel or motel
- Designated smoking “outposts” in shopping mall common areas that are at least five feet away from any doorway or opening that leads to an enclosed area.
That's right, it's not just in public areas, it's now enforced on private hotels and privately owned shopping mall exteriors as well.
How do they intend to enforce this law? By forcing employers to act as law enforcement and by having people harass other citizens by reporting them, of course.
Business owners will be responsible for ensuring that all employees and patrons comply with the new law.
Individual citizens can report offenders to the city and officials will determine how to handle fines on a case-by-case basis, said Tony Coroalles, Calabasas city manager.
Let's just add a bunch of paperwork and bureaucracy to the city rolls over a stupid outdoor smoking ban.
Speaking of paperwork, they also have a FAQ on their website about the ordinance. As a business you have to actually file a form with the city in order to receive a "designated smoking area" for your business.
It also includes this nice language about penalties:
What is the fine if I offend others with my smoking?
The ordinance provides a variety of methods of enforcement ranging from warnings, to tickets, to lawsuits. The ordinance can be enforced by the City or by private parties who have given notice to the City. The City expects to rely on warnings and tickets for most offenders but will consider more serious penalties for willful or repeat offenders
So if you just happen to have a political reason for not liking smoking, just go around filing a bunch of frivolous lawsuits against anyone you see smoking.
The text of the ordinance (PDF file)
Tipped by: Ex-Donkey who is a non-smoker and finds it also asinine.
Strangerina of Stranger in a Strange Land takes this Calabasas and this law to task as well. Her post is well worth your time.
Exactly what is "ignorant" about it? It seems pretty clear second hand smoke is also associated with increased risk of many health problems. So it is not unreasonable (for a number of reasons, e.g. also liability) for a municipality to ban smoking on its property, whether enclosed or not.
But including sidewalks, streets, etc, e.g. places that are by nature only occupied transiently, if true, is asinine.
And any attempt to tell private property owners whether they ought to permit smoking on their premises or not is just plain wrong.
Posted by: eh on February 20, 2006 06:52 AM