Are You in Favor of More Smoking Restrictions in San Ramon?

The City Council is expected to consider an ordinance that will further restrict smoking in San Ramon. Let us know what you think.

The City of San Ramon is reaching out to the community to see how they feel about putting more restriction on smoking in the city.

On Open San Ramon, the city's online forum, they have asked residents what they think about a restricted smoking ordinance the City Council is expected to consider next year.

San Ramon already has an ordinance, passed in 1999, that greatly restricts indoor smoking. The new ordinance would put significant restrictions on outside smoking, to lower the risk of second-hand smoke.

For example, smoking won't be allowed in public parks or at community events.

The ordinance itself doesn't explicitly say where smoking is banned. Instead, it states where smoking would still be allowed. So, since the ordinance doesn't state that smoking in public parks is allowed, therefore it is banned.

If the ordinance is passed, these are the places smoking would still be allowed in San Ramon:

  1. Smoking inside a single family dwelling unit which is not licensed as a family day care facility and in the yard of such unit so long as any outside smoking is not within 25’ from any entrance, exit, operable window or air intake of a neighboring single family dwelling unit.
  2. Smoking inside a multi-family housing unit and in an unenclosed area designated for smoking by the owner or person/entity in control of the property but not on patios or balconies accessed from an individual unit or in common areas open to public access or to unrestricted common areas such as hallways.  The unenclosed designated smoking area must be at least 25’ from any individual unit and at least 25’ from unenclosed areas used by children or for physical activity such as swimming or tennis.  It must have a clearly marked perimeter and be identified by conspicuous signs.
  3. Smoking inside a personal vehicle not used for hire such as a taxi but only when there are no minors in the vehicle.
  4. Smoking on public sidewalks at locations not adjacent to a public or private park or school and not within 25’ from any entrance, exit, operable window or air intake opening of any building used for residential or commercial purposes.
  5. Smoking in privately owned unenclosed parking lots open to the public but not within 50’ of any commercial building served by the parking lot or within 25’ of buildings on adjacent properties.
  6. Smoking in workplace designated smoking areas but only to the extent preempted by and allowed under State law (California Labor Code section 6404.5).
  7. Smoking in privately owned enclosed facilities at private social events not open to the public such as wedding receptions but only to the extent allowed by the owner or person/entity in control of the property or facility and only in designated smoking areas conforming to the standards set forth in section 6404.5 of the California Labor Code.
  8. Smoking in designated rooms rented to guests in hotels and motels so long as the number of such rooms does not exceed 25% of the total rooms in the hotel or motel.
  9. Smoking on any outdoor area of golf courses but not within 25’ from any entrance, exit, operable window or air intake opening of the clubhouse or other building utilized by golfers, visitors or guests of the golf course.
  10. An Owner or person/entity in control of a property or facility for which an exemption is available under this section nonetheless may prohibit smoking on the property or in the facility for any reason.

Would you be in favor of these smoking restrictions in San Ramon? Let us know why or why not in the comments section.

You can also comment on the city website here.


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IlI8vO November 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Why don't these two-bit, tin-horn goody-two-shoes get a life?
Susan November 30, 2012 at 03:26 AM
When people are smoking in public it is often difficult to avoid breathing in their smoke. I live in a homeowner association community and often I must walk past groups of smokers to get out of my house. Not only do they pollute the air with their smoke, they often leave their cigarette butts on the ground. Many of these people smoke outdoors because their family members do not allow them to smake in the house. Smoking is a hard habit to break but a smoker can't confine the smoke (and damage) to themself and I don't want to have to endure the second hand smoke.
Jean Powers November 30, 2012 at 04:40 PM
YES !! Alameda has a no smoking ordinance and works! The public shouldn't have to be exposed to smokers. It is very bad for our health. Smokers have never been considerate of others for their bad habit.
KML November 30, 2012 at 04:42 PM
This is ridiculous that tax payers money is being spent on an ordinance that is ambiguous at best and in reality won't be enforced. Perhaps there are too many city employees without truly important things to do? Hmm
Anand November 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I am a non smoker (never smoked in my life) but I don't mind people smoking in public. My experience is, smokers are generally courteous to hide their 'sticks' when people, especially with small children pass by. Smoking is anybody's right. The dangers due to exposure to secondary smoking in an open area has been blown out of proportion. I know why San Ramon wants to do it. it wants to add a feather in its cap and its standing amongst cities might go up, in the bargain. It gives bragging rights with other cities and can say "See, I am so progressive". Smoking in California, especially in the bay area is not an issue at all. Reserve your energies for something more worthwhile, San Ramon!
Barbara Tahir November 30, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Several years ago Montgomery County, Maryland tried to implement a smoking ordinance which read very similar to article one of this proposal. It was found to be almost totally unenforceable and was very quickly rescinded. Neighbors who had a beef with neighbors called the police everytime they saw ther neighbors outside --smoking or not. Some of the people reported constantly were not even smokers yet their neighbors would swear up and down "they smelled smoke". The courts finally said you just can not tell people what to do in their own yards and the ordinance was dropped. A bad road to head down.
BobG November 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Once again the city has failed to provide any localized data as to why they are spending money and resources on an issue. Yes, second hand smoke is dangerous, and if we lived in an urban setting where smoking is prevalent (>50% smokers) and open space is limited then maybe you have a case. I would like to know the % or residents that actually smoke and relate that to the housing density. State and Federal laws are strict enough for San Ramon.
Steve November 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Getting a life is what I hope happens with this. Reducing exposure to someone else's smoke is important. My rights to clean breathable air are infringed upon by smokers.
Steve November 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM
There will be no increase in taxes to pay for this. San Ramon staff will not be going out to find violators.
Steve November 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM
There will be no increase in taxes and San Ramon staff won't be going around looking for people to cite.
Steve November 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Dublin has a much tougher ordinance and it seems to be working well.
Mrs. Bee December 01, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Why should I have to breath carcinogens because of someone else's stupidity and "addiction" problem? Time and time again, it's been proven that cigarette smoke is a carcinogen yet these morons keep puffing away. They not only willingly smoke a cancer causing agent, but they're dumb enough to pay for it. Also, the most puzzling part of it to me is they stink. Literally, they stink. Bad breath, dirty smelling hands and hair, smelly clothing...it's just filthy but we all must be penalized if we're near a smoker. Time for them to shove off. This is one part of big government that I support. Fine them, prohibit it just make the idiots go away so I don't have to smell it.
BobG December 01, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Wow, isn't there enough space in San Ramon where you and smokers don't need to share the same air? Or is it their " bad breath, dirty smelling hands and hair, smelly clothing" that really bother you?
Michael December 01, 2012 at 07:05 AM
San Ramon is known for its breezes (Wind Festival?). These same breezes tend to disperse the carcinogens and aromas created by outdoor smokers.Do the same people who propose additional restrictions on people also propose to limit the carcinogenic risks of Diesel exhausts from trucks, buses and MERCEDES? Also let us make sure that if we are passing laws in regards to airborne odors and respiratory irritants that this ordinance also includes individuals wearing colognes and perfumes that maybe noxious and annoying at the least and a health danger to those allergic to such scents and those citizens with COPD. This Ordinance had also better consider the deliterious effects of Charcoal smoke from barbeques and wood smoke from fireplaces. These are documented as a danger to many respiratory conditions. Until we offer fair representation for all peoples needs, maybe we should not continue to persecute one group. Next then, eating high fat foods in public should be banned, as a bad example for our children in an obese oriented society. Of course we could enact NYC's ordinance prohibiting sugary drinks in excess of 16 ounces. Until the consumption of tobacco is made illegal, as perhaps it should be (Although the multi dollar tax per pack would be lost revenue), perhaps and ordinance should be passed to request that smokers and non-smokers alike show what used to be called "common" respect for their fellow man. Civility and respect, not persecution and divisiveness should be the rule.
tr December 01, 2012 at 07:11 AM
I love all of these people talking about their “right to breathe” and other such nonsense. How about my right to not be surrounded by incompetent morons? Where’s the ordinance for that? I suggest San Ramon be the first city to institute a stupidity ordinance. An ordinance that lists all of the places you are allowed to express your mentally defective tendencies, and the places you are not. You can be an imbecile as long as you are within a private domicile and not within view or earshot of the general public or neighbors. Idiocy can be expressed in public as long as you are not within 50 feet of an entryway to a private residence and not within sight of children under the age of 18. There is a 100-yard invisible boundary around all schools in the city. If any act of stupidity is committed within these bounds a hefty fine will be placed on the committer of these actions. Imagine how quickly we can clean up the streets. Our children will no longer be exposed to silliness, which has been proven, time and time again, to be a major cause for dimwittedness. Imagine the lives that could be saved!
Barbara Tahir December 01, 2012 at 08:00 AM
I am a non smoker and I happen to agree that if the city is holding an event or pays for the clean up of public areas then they should be able to say -- no smoking. Just on the grounds that the cigarette butts are so hard to get rid of. But part one of this proposal is ridiculous. It is just too difficult to regulate what people do in their own homes and yards. Where this type of ordinance was implemented previously it was a disaster -- neighbors reporting neighbors that they just did not like and swearing they "smelled smoke"; an overworked police force being required to go out to homes to regulate someone smoking who had finished their cigarette 20 minutes earlier; fights (actual physical fights) breaking out because "I smelled your smoke in my yard -- No you didn't because I wasn't even home" -- you get the picture. Take it easy on this one San Ramon. Before it was rescinded Montgomery County, Marryland was made to look like a laughingstock in front of the entire country. Late night comedians made jokes about it, radio hosts made jokes about it -- it was a mess. Just stop smoking for events you have a hand in paying for or anywhere that is public grounds (parks, community centers, etc.).
Concerned Citizen December 01, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Smokers, as a rule, are nicer, more tolerant, compassionate & accepting of others differences than these non-smokers who think they are holier than thou and should tell everyone around them how to behave. I agree, don't allow smoking at family events, don't allow heavy perfumes and obese people, or more importantly, obese people who drown themselves in perfume. Make it illegal to have a fire in a fireplace, ban backyard barbeques and absolutely end buses and trucks on 680 where residents of San Ramon can "smell" the exhaust fumes. Come on, the decision makers in San Ramon, use your time, energy and resources on something that will benefit everyone. We are all tax payers.
KML December 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Steve, we no there will be no increased taxes and no one will be enforcing. That's the point! Why are city employees spend time (which we are paying for with tax dollars) on such a ridiculous project. Find something meaningful to do or perhaps reduce staff!


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