Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposed Ban on Smoking Pasadena

Here's the ordinance that was proposed back in May.




Community Fact Sheet/Background & Update

At the request of the City of Pasadena Public Safety Committee, Public Health Department staff was asked to research outdoor tobacco smoking and provide a report on recommendations to amend the current City municipal code�s tobacco control ordinance. At the May 5, 2008 City Council meeting, the Council approved the staff recommendations and directed the City Attorney to draft the ordinance language.

The following is summary background information and key points from the staff report:

As of June 2007, in California, 42 cities and/or counties have policies regulating tobacco smoke in outdoor dining, 46 have an entryway policy, and 29 have adopted policies related to service lines, waiting lines, bus stops, and taxi shelters. Cities and counties that have one or more of these policies include Calabasas, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, South Pasadena, Baldwin Park Santa Rosa, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Laguna Woods, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Temecula, El Cajon, Belmont, Ross and Berkeley1. Three of these�Santa Monica, Calabasas and Beverly Hills�are nearby communities with major retail and/or restaurant businesses. In addition, Glendale is now considering outdoor tobacco smoke and drifting tobacco smoke in multi-unit housing polices. The City of Berkeley is now considering no smoking on sidewalks in all commercial zones. Culver City is considering policies to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining.

Most Californians don�t smoke. According the California Department of Public Health Services, the California adult smoking prevalence is 14%2. The adult smoking prevalence rate for LA County is 15%3.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) secondhand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke) is the combination of sidestream smoke (the smoke given off by the burning end of a tobacco product) and mainstream smoke (the smoke exhaled by the smoker) 4. Exposure to secondhand smoke is also called involuntary smoking or passive smoking.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Toxicology Program, secondhand smoke does contain harmful chemicals. More than 4,000 chemicals have been identified in secondhand smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, and 50 of these are known to cause cancer 5.

Evidence regarding the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is well documented in medical and scientific literature and substantiates the need for stronger policies to regulate secondhand smoke in outdoor public places. According to the California Air Resources Board, secondhand smoke is now classified as a Toxic Air Contaminant, an airborne toxic substance than may cause or contribute to death or serious illness. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Class A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans, placed in the same category as benzene and asbestos6.

Since August 2007, staff has worked with 15 community volunteers to conduct a local community intercept survey to obtain public opinion and gauge community readiness about outdoor tobacco smoke regulations in public places. This survey was completed by 900 respondents representing Pasadena�s daytime population. Although this was not a randomized sample, significant efforts were made to reach a diverse demographic of respondents from various parts of the city as well as smokers and nonsmokers. The analysis was conducted by an independent research consulting firm and the results indicate the following:

76% would support a policy to prohibit smoking in all public places.
82% would support a policy to prohibit smoking in public service waiting lines.
78% would support a policy to prohibit smoking in all outdoor gathering events
(not on parkland, since city-owned parks are already 100% smoke-free).
81% would support a policy to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining.
82% would support a policy to prohibit smoking within a certain distance from the main building entrance.

In February 2008, the American Lung Association released its first annual Tobacco Control report card, highlighting cities with the most comprehensive tobacco control ordinances in Los Angeles and Orange County cities. Grading for tobacco prevention is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. Cities and Counties, rated on a grade scale (A � F), were measured on how city leaders and officials protect their citizens from harmful secondhand smoke exposure in city parks and recreation areas, entryways, service lines, outdoor dining, and apartments. The City of Pasadena obtained a �C� grade, citing the need to upgrade local policies that further reduce the public�s exposure to secondhand smoke.

Smoking in outdoor venues exposes people to levels of harmful secondhand smoke as high as levels existing in indoor spaces where smoking is unrestricted. Evidence regarding the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is well-documented in medical and scientific literature and substantiates the need for stronger policies to regulate secondhand smoke in outdoor public places. Additionally, prohibiting smoking within a defined distance from main building entrances will further protect the public�s health by preventing people from breathing in concentrated carcinogenic secondhand smoke as they enter or exit buildings, particularly a concern for youth and those with respiratory disabilities.

On May 5th, 2008 the City Council directed the City Attorney to amend the City�s municipal code to:
1. Prohibit smoking in outdoor malls, shopping areas/centers.
2. Prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas.
3. Prohibit smoking within 20-feet of main business entrances.
4. Prohibit smoking in public service waiting lines (e.g. movie theatre lines, ATM lines, bus stops).
5. Prohibit smoking in public outdoor gathering events/special events/parades/fairs (not on parkland).

These recommendations will not impact smoking inside cigar lounges/significant tobacco-retailer shops, as these establishments are already exempted under current state and local laws. Enforcement of the proposed policies would be built into an existing enforcement mechanism operated by the Public Health Department. This mechanism is a complaint-driven process with a telephone number and website for the public to register complaints. Staff will also develop a comprehensive proactive public education communications effort, coupled with clear and prominent signage to notify the public about the newly adopted policies.

1 The Center for Policy and Organizing:
2 California Tobacco Control Program:
3 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
4; National Toxicology Program. Report on Carcinogens. Eleventh Edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2005; National Cancer Institute. Cancer Progress Report 2003. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004; International Agency for Research on Cancer. Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking. Lyon, France: 2002.
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.
6 California Air Resources Board: and United States Environmental Protection Agency:

For more information, please contact the Pasadena

Tobacco Control Program Office at
Phone: (626) 744-6014


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