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Hermosa Puts Out Outdoor Smoking

Hermosa Beach City Council agrees to outlaw smoking in outdoor dining areas and other public spaces, starting March 1.

Smoking in nearly all of Hermosa Beach's outdoor public areas will be against the law starting March 1, the has decided.

The panel in a meeting Tuesday night voted 4-0, with Councilman Kit Bobko absent, to introduce an ordinance prohibiting smoking in outdoor dining areas, Pier Plaza, all city parks, , the Strand, and public parking lots.

Smoking is already banned on the local beach.

Council members decided 4-1 to direct city staffers to draft the ordinance, and Bobko was the dissenting vote.

Now the new rules have been set to begin March 1.

As for enforcing the ban, Police Chief Greg Savelli told the council that such a law usually results in self-enforcement, or "we tell them they can’t smoke and they’re compliant."

Lisa Santora, chief medical officer for the Beach Cities Health District, in the council meeting praised the ban as a benefit to public health.

About 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking-related causes and secondhand smoke nationwide each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Vitality City director Joel Spoonheim pointed out that the Vitality program could offer resources to help residents quit smoking.

Meanwhile, George Barks, a former council member, questioned whether such efforts were necessary. He told the council that he saw the smoking ban as limiting personal freedom, and added that he rarely sees people smoking on the Strand anyway.

"You have a pretty good restriction on smoking right now, and I believe that there is a responsibility on each individual to take care of their health," he said.

But before the council made its final decision, Councilman Peter Tucker said that smoking issues and their secondhand impact "affect everyone."

Do you think the ban on outdoor smoking in Hermosa Beach is necessary?

J Travers Devine October 27, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Smoke dissipates in the open air so the hype about health is just scare tactics. All the self-righteous hypocrisy about it being good for you to quit smoking ignores the fact that this ban tells long time smokers, like me that you don't want me to continue to be active in Hermosa Beach. I was a smoker when I was one of the founders of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in town. I was a smoker for the 15 years I spent on the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. I will now be a smoker who feels outlawed from a place I did my best to support for many years. You have banned me- for my own good, of course.
aber October 27, 2011 at 05:15 AM
No, J Travers Devine, you have not been banned "for your own good", you have been banned for the good of the 50,000 American non-smokers (including 14,000 children) who are killed each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. You can smoke all you like as far as I'm concerned, just don't do it anywhere near someone who has chosen not to smoke. My right to health exceeds your right to enjoyment any day.
aber October 27, 2011 at 05:17 AM
And before you say "where did you get that figure from?", have a look for yourself. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11844169
hermosariley October 27, 2011 at 04:57 PM
Your actually right J Travers. The vehicle exhaust alone on Pier and Hermosa Ave. outways the cigerette smoke by 27.4 metric tons each year per latest environmental impact report. This is like banning one grain of sand from the entire Hermosa beach because they think it will help reduce crabs from ingesting it. LOL - what a joke this is.
Catch A Wave October 27, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Kudos to Hermosa Beach! There is only one side to this debate, that's why it's over. Second hand smoke kills. I could care less what smokers think or say. If they don't like the ban, feel free to move somewhere else. If I see someone violating the ban, they're getting reported.
Duke Noor October 27, 2011 at 05:36 PM
I love to agree with C A W !!! To prohibit smoking in all public places is one of the best moves that the City Council has made this year! We were totally smoked out at the recent Beer Garden of the Hermosa Fiesta. A table of 5 young ladies, all smokers, would lite up at the same time and we were right next to them, down wind. I asked them nicely to please alternate lighting up and of course they gave me the stink eye and said "we'll be leaving soon", which they did. Sorry, It's our birthright to breath clean air, not the opposite. Don't get me started on the cig butts component of this issue. Thanks HB for setting a healthy precedent for many more cities to come!
keith hart October 27, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Just one more example giving the government more control over your freedom.of choice. What's next, banning gas burning automobiles. They cause alot more foul air than smoking.
J Travers Devine October 28, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Pure BS. Take a look at the tests they did - if you sit in a room filled with second hand smoke solidly for a year, that would be true but what you are saying is that the second hand smoke is ten times more dangerous than automobile exhaust. Can you honestly stand by that?
J Travers Devine October 28, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Propaganda pure and simple. They show no actual causation figures that include or exclude any other environmental factors. It is simple - they can't really do anything about industrial pollution or automobile exhaust so the make themselves 'feel good' by banning smoking because it attacks the individual who can't fight back rather than an industry than can and does. BS. BS. and more BS
J Travers Devine October 28, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Thank you very much. As someone who has contributed one hell of a lot to the City of Hermosa Beach over the last two decades I can tell you that now I won't contribute any money or effort - neighboring communities will benefit while you lose out because you are self-righteous, self serving and intolerant!
Duke Noor October 28, 2011 at 05:48 PM
I'm adamant about less Government, not more. But in this case, having held the hands of people dying from lung cancer, I'm all for prohibiting smoking in public places, especially in or near where we eat. I also believe that the 5% (or less) that survive the disease of lung cancer would agree with me.
Catch A Wave October 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Keith Hart - that is exactly why you need government, to regulate and control "your freedom of choice". Without regulation, greed, avarice and selfishness will enable the few at the expense of the many. That includes you smoking and killing me in the process. Glad to educate you.
Bob Atkins January 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
This absurd and flagrantly bullying law was passed based on the flagrant lie that 2nd hand smoke kills - even outdoors! It is the OUTDOORS! If you don't like what you are smelling step out of the way you selfish, lazy, good for nothing pain in the a**. This law serves no other purpose than to boost the conceited and selfish egos of the politicians that passed it so that they claim 'me too' - they bettered Santa Monica and Pasadena by imposing an even more fascist law on the populace and visitors to our city. Now, it will be illegal to smoke anywhere on Pier Plaza (where all of the bars and restaurants are), all city parks, the greenbelt, the Strand, public parking lots and outdoor dining areas. So you won't even be able to step OUTSIDE of a bar or restaurant to have a smoke! You can't drink alcohol outside of a bar or smoke anywhere in Hermosa Beach - on or off the beach! Wohoo - what a fun, beach town we live in! I wonder how much more life our politicians will be able to sanitize and strangle out of our community in 2012. I don't smoke anymore, but I do believe in personal freedom - something that has all but disappeared in most places in the US. The intolerance and bullying by the majority will continue the demise of our society. We bemoan bullying in schools and then applaud our politicians and leaders when they do it to 'someone else' - all while concealing our own alcohol stash out on the beach! I'll LMFAO when eventually, the bullies will start to bully themselves.

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