News


Councilwoman wants smoking banned in downtown Pleasanton, also in apartments

City staff to meet with property owners before recommending a plan

City Councilwoman Karla Brown wants to ban smoking in downtown Pleasanton and in all multi-family apartment and condominium complexes.

She asked the city staff to work with the Pleasanton Downtown Association (PDA) to determine where and how extensive a smoking ban could be imposed downtown.

She acknowledged that such a ban would require support from downtown businesses. Apartment house owners as well as condominium owners would need to be consulted before any ban could take effect.

Brown's proposal follows a smoking ban the council imposed last June for all city parks and park parking lots. However, the council excluded the Callippe Preserve golf course from the ban although the course's clubhouse already prohibits smoking inside the building or on its outdoors patio.

The parks ban was first proposed by the city's Youth Commission, which said its studies showed that secondhand smoke posed a threat to others in the parks.

With its smoking ban, Pleasanton joined the cities of Danville, Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon in banning smoking in all public parks.

Mayor Jerry Thorne indicated he might support a smoking ban on downtown streets, but balked at imposing a ban on apartments, condominiums and other private property.

City Manager Nelson Fialho said he will take up the issue with the PDA and report their findings back to the council. He said there could be a number of options, such as imposing a complete smoking ban in the downtown or for only during specific, more crowded events.

Brown said she talked to Bruce Fiedler, the former manager of the Pleasanton Gardens senior housing facility. He said by allowing smoking in these facilities, including a new one planned to replace Kottinger Place, the complex owners face high insurance costs.

"We have quite a few apartments coming on board," Brown said. "Smoking in these units affects all the residents. Hopefully, the property owners would welcome this discussion."

Downtown area smoking bans aren't new. Last May, the Livermore council banned smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, in some downtown areas. San Mateo is considering banning cigarette smoking in all multifamily dwellings and public parks as well as "public service areas" where people congregate, such as bus stops and ATM and movie theater lines.

The city of Manhattan Beach has gone even farther, banning smoking throughout the city. The Grass Valley City Council recently expanded its downtown non-smoking boundaries and prohibited smoking within 20 feet of all business doors. The ordinance also prohibits the use of electric cigarette devices downtown.

To discourage younger people from smoking, Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguin wants to increase the age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21. El Cajon, considered one of the state's more progressive cities in regulating the sales of cigarettes and tobacco products, is pushing for a bill in Sacramento that would raise the legal age to buy tobacco in the state from 18 to 21.

One critic noted that the bill would mean 18 year olds who can serve in the military, vote and enter into contracts would not be able to make a decision about whether to smoke.

Smokers in Palo Alto's apartment complexes need not snuff out their cigarette butts just yet.

Having already prohibited smoking at local parks, outdoor dining areas, downtown arteries and open space preserves, city officials considered expanding the ban to multi-family homes. But with too many details still up in the air, a City Council committee balked at adding the new restriction at this time.

Comments

19 people like this
Posted by non-smoker, but . . . .
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 9:48 am

Really?? This is the latest from the city council? Dogs are far more of an annoyance than second hand smoke. If I don't want to sit in the smoke I don't go to Tullys with the 12 steppers out front hogging the seating. But if I want to avoid stepping into dog poop there is nowhere downtown that is safe. Same for wanting to sit down anywhere and enjoy food, drink or just quiet. There are always hordes of dogs barking, sniffing and pooping everywhere. Want to make life better for everyone? Get the dogs out of downtown!

The only way to mitigate the cost of smoking and the problem of second hand smoke is to price it out of reach. The apartment owners need to prohibit any smokers as that will save on their insurance. I have been a landlord for decades and have never allowed a smoker to live in or visit any of my properties. My fire insurance is less than half of the price for landlords who allow smoking. Smokers should be uninsurable in every respect. Get lung cancer? Pay for it yourself. Have heart problems due to smoking? Pay for it yourself. There is just no way that all of us should bear the cost for those who stupidly kill themselves by smoking. But trying to ban it everywhere in public will only cause people to flaunt the law. Cops won't enforce it, too petty. It's illegal for cyclists to blow through stop signs and red lights -- seen any of them getting a ticket lately?


10 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

Is this a directive from an Elected oficial, or a self appointed dictator?


4 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

Will the ban include weed and e-cigs!?


16 people like this
Posted by Roger Anderson
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 9, 2015 at 11:02 am

As a retired Registered Respiratory Therapist I heartily agree with Karla Browns suggestion that smoking be banned in downtown Pleasanton & multi-family dwellings. Why should less than 25% of the population that continues the unhealthy habit of smoking tobacco be allowed to pollute the air we nonsmokers breathe? When I walk the streets of Pleasanton & enter a cloud of stinky tobacco smoke it's like being slapped in the face when I take a breath. We as a community should do all we can to discourage the smoking in the common areas we & our families share.


15 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 9, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Can we ban over controlling, want-to-make-a-name for themselves officials? Smokers are an easy target and of course Karla Brown knows that. Suggestion for people like her: "to the best of your ability, leave people alone".


18 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

I would think that out of common sense and simple courtesy that smokers would not light up while walking down Main Street with other people including children following behind them on the crowded sidewalks. If all smokers practiced such common sense and courtesy then there would be no need to talk about a downtown smoking ban.


15 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:04 pm

I agree with Damon about the common sense stuff and all that. Of course, some people don't have common sense because they lack personal awareness, are narcissistic or just don't care. What I have a problem with is legislating rules of conduct for every behavior we don't like.

Also, I detect a certain degree of self-righteousness in some people's comments such as having to pass through 'entering a cloud of stinky smoke'. Do they think they'll keel over? Living in a community requires a certain amount of give and take. For example, we've lived with a neighbor who's had occasional barking dogs. When it bothers me too much I practice my assertiveness and say something. We don't need the government for all of this. We have too much of a nanny state now as it is already.


9 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Ban them. If we could depend on courtesy fine, but we need rules for inconsiderates who think rules don't apply to them...you know who they are..text or read cellphone in movies ; don't pick up after dogs; burn wood in fireplaces; bikes without lights or bells; smoke and discard cigarette butts on ground . Rules will make us healthy and safer. Those who always opine about government and rules would get rid of stop signs!


5 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:37 pm

If smokers had any "common sense" would they smoke? Karla Brown is just trying to get attention. She has no power except in her own head. I question highly how she became a councilwoman. Did she get that job legally? What exactly is her job?


29 people like this
Posted by J'aime Bridal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

We at J'aime Bridal absolutely support the banning of smoking in Downtown Pleasanton. We fully support and hope that the City of Pleasanton will enforce a no smoking ban like neighboring Livermore and thousands of other towns across the US.

Too many times I am subjected to second hand smoke from those sitting on a bench outside my store. We like to keep our front door open to enjoy the fresh air and invite customers into our store. The cigarette smoke harms the dresses in the store, especially those that are silk. It is offensive to our employees and customers. A beautiful bride trying on wedding gowns should not have to smell smoke because someone is standing near our door. We can smell the smoke prior to seeing the person smoking, and then it is too late to close our door and the smoke smell lingers in the store.

I'm sorry to report that smokers downtown are a daily annoyance. It's unfortunate that I cannot enjoy the outdoor space at Tully's with my children because of smokers. The City of Pleasanton has our full support on the ban of smoking downtown.


14 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Why ban smoking in apartments and condominiums? What people do inside their own homes is their own business...


12 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I am more disgusted by the level of fatness and in many cases obesity I see walking around. I see far more people who are obese than I see smoking downtown. As a matter of fact I can't remember the last time I saw someone smoking down there.


10 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

We are all so sorry that Jerry is 'disgusted' that he has to see others that don't pass muster with what he thinks is acceptable. Apparently seeing people like that really fouls his view.

This is how discrimination gets started.


2 people like this
Posted by non-smoker, but . . .
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

" If all smokers practiced such common sense and courtesy then there would be no need to talk about a downtown smoking ban."

Earth to Damon -- this is Pleasanton you are talking about. When did common sense and courtesy ever come before personal wants and desires for anyone in this town?

I agree completely with the idea of banning smoking just not with the way that it would be enforced. That is to say, not enforced at all. Which PD officers should stop responding to real calls so that they can write a ticket to a smoker? A ticket that would get them -- what -- a "don't do that again" lecture from the judge? Smoking needs to be legislated to a halt by virtually bankrupting smokers. No insurance, no place to live, add another $10 per pack to fees designed to pay for the cost to all of us for smokers. The reason smoking should be banned in all residential units is to save the cost of insurance. Landlords need to get smart about that, it really does make a difference.

A smoke free world would be nice but making laws to stop it require someone to figure out how to add people to enforce those laws. Just not gonna happen.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jan
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I can't imagine marrying a smoker!


2 people like this
Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Maybe I am old, but does anyone remember when there was a "smoking side" and a "non-smoking" side to most restaurants? Everyone was complaining about too much government then too but we non-smokers spoke up and supported a ban, and now we can eat in a smoke free dining room.

How about a smoking section of an airplane? That did not work either because smoke travels like a magnate to non-smokers and we are tired of it.

About smoking in your apartment, it is not your home. Just like in hotels, they own the building and they can dictate if you are going to smoke there. I rent in a non-smoking apartment and I would not rent it if someone smoked there before I lived here. I have asthma and it could kill me. My only question is why did nit took so long?



6 people like this
Posted by ksco
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Thanks Karla to take this up. You are my hero. Sorry to say that common sense is not that common. That is why wee need some rules. In PDA meetings, this have been under discussion for some times.
My wife and I love sitting outside at our favorite restaurants downtown and having people smoking just next to us where we are eating IS DISCUSTING. At Tully's we do have a problem. People take away chairs and park themselves on the street smoking. Try to go to Bank of America through these clouds!?

Someone talked bout bicycle people that do not even slow down at stop signs is another lack of consideration. I have been almost nailed by the at our corner to Foothill. I wish police could issue some tickets. It is the law, why is it not enforced???


13 people like this
Posted by Ridge runner
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm

This is a completely unnecessary measure; I'm not a smoker and don't like inhaling second hand smoke, and I spend allot of time downtown and it's not a problem at all. So this amateur politician should stop trying to create a problem where there isn't one, and tender her resignation (although I know she cannot because her developer and realtor puppet masters won't allow it). However, banning the plethora of obnoxious dogs downtown would be a great idea!


8 people like this
Posted by not a smoker, but . . .
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

"However, banning the plethora of obnoxious dogs downtown would be a great idea!"

I could not agree more. Dogs are far more filthy, invasive and annoying than second hand smoke that is easily avoided.


2 people like this
Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 9, 2015 at 8:19 pm

It's about time we had a smoking ban!

If you want to smoke find a place where my family is not.


5 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 9, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Can we ban the self righteously obnoxious people while we're at it? I don't smoke, but it tempting the hold banners down while blowing two lungs full of Camel unfiltereds into their faces. You will not die because you smell smoke downtown. Frankly, this town would be better off if half moral thumpers died off soon anyway.


4 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 9, 2015 at 8:52 pm

@"not a smoker" : "I could not agree more. Dogs are far more filthy, invasive and annoying than second hand smoke that is easily avoided."

Tell, you what. When the American Medical Association declares that the presence of dogs dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, as well as causes damage to your kidney, liver, colon, esophagus, etc., then we'll entertain your proposals about dogs downtown. In the meantime, the topic of this thread is downtown smoking, not dogs.


6 people like this
Posted by smokers beware
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Downtown no smoking.I live downtown in a house. Does this mean I am not allowed to smoke in my house that I own?

what does she consider downtown?


1 person likes this
Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 1:27 am

Second hand smoke won't hurt anyone. Outdoors? Get serious! Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) fact sheet on second-hand smoking ( Web Link ):

............

Secondhand Smoke Harms Children and Adults

There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.
Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.

Health Effects in Children
In children, secondhand smoke causes the following:

Ear infections
More frequent and severe asthma attacks
Respiratory symptoms (for example, coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath)
Respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia)
A greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Health Effects in Adults
In adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause:

Heart disease
For nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels.
It is estimated that secondhand smoke caused nearly 34,000 heart disease deaths each year during 2005–2009 among adult nonsmokers in the United States.
Lung cancer
Secondhand smoke exposure caused more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year during 2005–2009 among adult nonsmokers in the United States.
Stroke

Smokefree laws can reduce the risk for heart disease and lung cancer among nonsmokers.


6 people like this
Posted by mike
a resident of Las Positas
on Sep 10, 2015 at 7:56 am

You people are concerned about second hand smoke, really. What about all the cars driving up and down the street. Cars ideling spewing smoke. I'm sure one car slowly driving down Main St.is putting off more harmful smoke then a person walking down the street with a cigarette. Since driving is a revlige and not a right, I suggest ban cars form the down town area. Only delivery trucks and emergency vehicles aloud.


5 people like this
Posted by Akash
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Sep 10, 2015 at 8:14 am

I'd like to see a city-wide ban on smoking and make Pleasanton the first city in California to enact such a law. If smokers want to smoke, move elsewhere. While we are at the topic of public nuisance, we should ban those Harleys from cruising our streets so everyone can enjoy some peace and quiet. Their loud and obnoxious bikes serve no purpose other than to annoy. We need to ban those from our streets and send a message that Pleasanton is a family town.


7 people like this
Posted by CW
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 8:35 am

Wow "Akash" who the heck are you??? "Let them move elsewhere"...Where did you come from? How dare you. I am a smoker. I have lived here 30 plus years. I do not light up, very rarely near downtown, I am courteous of families and little ones, I pick up after myself and I do follow rules...Don't we have bigger issues we should concern ourselves with?


2 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 10, 2015 at 8:39 am

@mike : "I'm sure one car slowly driving down Main St.is putting off more harmful smoke then a person walking down the street with a cigarette."

Nope. Not even close. A single cigarette gives off much more harmful particulate matter than the exhaust from a typical car. In addition, there are all those carcinogens given off by cigarettes as well. Modern cars are exceptionally clean-burning thanks to all of their sophisticated air pollution control equipment compared to cigarettes which have no air pollution control technology at all.

The study described in the link below compared cigarette smoke versus a modern diesel car and found that cigarettes gave off much more particulate matter than the diesel car. Of course, diesel engines are known for throwing out a lot of particulate matter, so cigarettes would fare even worse compared to modern cars with gasoline engines.

BBC News: Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 10, 2015 at 9:15 am

Really? This is her big idea? I am not a smoker but am tired of the nanny state these busybody politicians are pushing. Enough already.....do something useful and stay out of people's personal lives. I have never walked downtown or in any park and been overwhelmed by cigarette or cigar smoke. It is a non-issue in our town. Just another way for the perceived elite to try and control others.....again, this is coming from someone who does not smoke.


10 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 10:40 am

I do not smoke and I voted for Karla Brown but would not do it again after reading this. This has all to do about our less than vibrant downtown and lack of revenue. It has all to do with money and they or she is grasping for what to do. I certainly hope she is working on bigger issues than this one.


5 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

I raised my family in Pleasanton. While waiting for a house to be ready for us, we temporarily lived in a downtown apartment complex. It was an interesting experience living in such close proximity with so many people. The worst part was it was like living with many cigarette smokers. Anyone smoking was sharing the smoke with us. Smoke came in our windows and vents, it was like they were in the room.
I lived during the time of smoker rights. Giving rights to non-smokers has improved our quality of life.
This is a good proposal.


3 people like this
Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 11:34 am

nanny state much? Second hand smoke "science" is propaganda!


4 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

There is no unbiased, science-based study that says that occasional second hand smoke is devastating to your health. I run into smokers maybe 3 times a week for 30 seconds at a time....this will have zero impact on my health. If you live with a smoker, totally different story but that's your choice. If someone is smoking outside near you and it bothers you, do what most people do....move 30 feet away.

The nanny staters want to control everything....they want to cut gas consumption in California by 50% which is completely unrealistic. They know this but they want to get to the point where they ration gas or push gas prices to $13 bucks a gallon all in an attempt to attack global warming which it would have zero affect on. California politicians have an exaggerated opinion on their global importance.....if Asia or Eastern Europe continue as is, anything we do won't register a blip. Just like the water rationing nazis who want us to take shorter showers; as if that makes a difference while we waste millions of gallons of water growing crops we have no business growing in desert like conditions (almonds, rice, etc.) Meanwhile, we have a water retention infrastructure that has not been invested in for 20 years while our population grows..the state is beyond hope with this prevalent backward thinking and hand-wringing.


Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm

@Dave: "There is no unbiased, science-based study that says that occasional second hand smoke is devastating to your health."

See CNN news article: Web Link

"Even occasional smoking or secondhand smoke causes immediate damage to one's organs and poses risk of serious illness or death, the U.S. Surgeon General said in a new report released Thursday."


2 people like this
Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

THE AIR, ACCORDING TO OSHA





Though repetition has little to do with "the truth," we're repeatedly told that there's "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

OSHA begs to differ.

OSHA has established PELs (Permissible Exposure Levels) for all the measurable chemicals, including the 40 alleged carcinogens, in secondhand smoke. PELs are levels of exposure for an 8-hour workday from which, according to OSHA, no harm will result.

Of course the idea of "thousands of chemicals" can itself sound spooky. Perhaps it would help to note that coffee contains over 1000 chemicals, 19 of which are known to be rat carcinogens.
-"Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities" Gold Et Al., Science, 258: 261-65 (1992)

There. Feel better?

As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."
-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Indeed it would.

Independent health researchers have done the chemistry and the math to prove how very very rare that would be.

As you're about to see in a moment.

In 1999, comments were solicited by the government from an independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke.

Using EPA figures on the emissions per cigarette of everything measurable in secondhand smoke, they compared them to OSHA's PELs.

The following excerpt and chart are directly from their report and their Washington testimony:

CALCULATING THE NON-EXISTENT RISKS OF ETS

"We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained--very few, of course, because it's difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS.

"We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.

"Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.

"Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.

"For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold.

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

"At the lower end of the scale-- in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?

"Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room -- a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we've been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.

"It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat."

Chart (Table 1)

-"Toxic Toxicology" Littlewood & Fennel

Coming at OSHA from quite a different angle is litigator (and how!) John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Banzhaf is on record as wanting to remove healthy children from intact homes if one of their family smokes. He also favors national smoking bans both indoors and out throughout America, and has litigation kits for sale on how to get your landlord to evict your smoking neighbors.

Banzhaf originally wanted OSHA to ban smoking in all American workplaces.

It's not even that OSHA wasn't happy to play along; it's just that--darn it -- they couldn't find the real-world science to make it credible.

So Banzhaf sued them. Suing federal agencies to get them to do what you want is, alas, a new trick in the political deck of cards. But OSHA, at least apparently, hung tough.

In response to Banzhaf's law suit they said the best they could do would be to set some official standards for permissible levels of smoking in the workplace.

Scaring Banzhaf, and Glantz and the rest of them to death.

Permissible levels? No, no. That would mean that OSHA, officially, said that smoking was permitted. That in fact, there were levels (hard to exceed, as we hope we've already shown) that were generally safe.

This so frightened Banzhaf that he dropped the case. Here are excerpts from his press release:

"ASH has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against OSHA...to avoid serious harm to the non-smokers rights movement from adverse action OSHA had threatened to take if forced by the suit to do it....developing some hypothetical [ASH's characterization] measurement of smoke pollution that might be a better remedy than prohibiting smoking....[T]his could seriously hurt efforts to pass non-smokers' rights legislation at the state and local level...

Another major threat was that, if the agency were forced by ASH's suit to promulgate a rule regulating workplace smoking, [it] would be likely to pass a weak one.... This weak rule in turn could preempt future and possibly even existing non-smokers rights laws-- a risk no one was willing to take.

As a result of ASH's dismissal of the suit, OSHA will now withdraw its rule-making proceedings but will do so without using any of the damaging [to Anti activists] language they had threatened to include."
-ASH Nixes OSHA Suit To Prevent Harm To Movement

Looking on the bright side, Banzhaf concludes:

"We might now be even more successful in persuading states and localities to ban smoking on their own, once they no longer have OSHA rule-making to hide behind."

Once again, the Anti-Smoking Movement reveals that it's true motive is basically Prohibition (stopping smokers from smoking; making them "social outcasts") --not "safe air."


Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 10, 2015 at 2:28 pm

@ed

As a government agency, OSHA is sensitive to political pressures. There is a long history behind OSHA and the subject of secondhand smoking:

................
While tobacco's assault on the Food and Drug Administration has drawn more publicity, the industry has quietly won an equally important battle against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 1994, OSHA proposed restrictions on smoking in the workplace. The proposal, intended to protect nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke, is in limbo due to a concerted attack by the tobacco companies. As in their war on the FDA, they orchestrated a massive letter-writing campaign in order to create the impression of an "anti-big government" citizens' uprising against OSHA. That impression worked only too well: Insiders at OSHA report getting death threats, and U.S. marshals monitored packages delivered to the agency.

Mother Jones: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by cosmic-charlie
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for that post ed of Birdland. Facts are stubborn things...

I smoked for 20 years until a bout of bronchitis, directly related to my habit, kept me from breathing, let alone smoking. Haven't smoked since! I will say though, second hand smoke is so disgusting and foul, I will go out of my way to avoid anyone smoking.

There are business in Pleasanton that allow employees to smoke outside in front of their storefronts. I wont go in their stores. The entrances smell as bad as the latrines at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in the summer. Can you imagine?

Smoking steals your health; smoking killed my both of my parents. Smoke along the downtown promenade if you want, you just won't find me by your side or in your stores and restaurants.



2 people like this
Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

The fact that anti smoking groups have not supported e-cigs shows that this battle was never about health. It is about control and money. Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Paulette
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 10, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Even though I personally don't like being around cigarette smoke, it seems to me that the people who rent are an easy target - not being home owners, etc. Even though it's not good for their health, maybe this is one of life's simple pleasures to someone after a hard days work- having a glass of chardonnay/tea/coffee on the patio with a smoke. And, I understand there are those who also rent who don't want to smell smoke (been there; done that). I get it. Like the asthma person, I too am sensitive to smoke. But, maybe it's better for each apartment complex and the affected parties to work these things out themselves. Maybe have a smoking area or the City can offer a seminar for citizens in how to organize in their own apartment communities and offer up affordable courses in how to stop smoking or create a smoking awareness program. Increase awareness of this as a problem, while being sensitive to the cultural differences from apartment community to apartment community.
To me, though, this wringing one's hands over cigarettes is almost laughable in comparison to what really is gunking up our air. Many times I've found myself feeling ill because people are burning wood in those darned fire pits or in the winter having fires in their fireplaces and burning those infernal waxy logs that have such an acrid odor. I can feel my throat and eyes burning & my lungs tightening up. I go take a Mucinex so I can breathe when people burn in their fireplaces. I don't want to medicate myself! Yet, people go insane if you take away their right to burn in their fireplaces. They claim it brings them joy, etc. But, we don't live in the olden days when houses were a few miles away from each other. And, what's worse is that we are only allowed to breathe clean air when the air is so bad that they call it a "Spare the Air day". How stupid is that? That means we never have truly clean air. Ever! We can burn to our heart's content, as long as the air is not so putrid as to be called a "Spare the Air" day. I hate winter because of this. Otherwise, I use to love winter. Also, studies have shown that having a fire in a fireplace doesn't really warm up your house anyway (it warms up the immediate area near the fireplace and the rest of the warmth that was in the house is sucked up and out of the chimney). It has the opposite affect. Using a heater makes more sense, if you are cold. Besides, it's not like we live in Alaska here. So.. to me, the cigarettes are like a little ant next to an elephant (which is the fireplaces & pits). I'm glad to see smoke recognized as burdensome to our collective health; but, I really think we're using a baseball bat to kill a fly this time around. I'd like to see us focus on what is really gunking up the air. BTW, I think it's so hateful & rude to make negative comments about people who have weight issues. There are conditions and medications that can cause people to retain water or lymphatic fluids, etc. People on steroids, people with lymphodema, etc. And, some people simply & sadly just don't know any better when it comes to eating properly. Carbs & fast food are more available in our culture than good food. If we lived like Parisians and had small stores with gloriously fresh & affordable produce, etc, all easily accessible on a daily basis, we probably wouldn't have this problem. We are what we collectively create. Passing judgement on people without understanding their circumstances is just being a mean bully. Any uncouth weirdo can be a bully. I've asked the City and a grocer that i think has very nice produce if they would put a Lunardi's store in Pleasanton. It's never happened. I approve of their produce. It's better than most. Let's organize more city gardens and access to produce if you can't stand seeing fat people. Do something and quit complaining about it. Whoever you are, I'm sure you're not a dreamboat either to some of us.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Paulette,

I agree with some of your comments but must call bs on one or two of them. In a very small percentage of cases people are heavy because of thyroid malfunction (which can be treated) or steroid use but these cases are rare. If you speak with any Dr of dietary medicine they will tell you people are overweight or obese because they intake far more calories than they burn off. Worse yet are some of the calorie choices they make. Fast foods and lots of carbs. It is very unhealthy to be overweight and I might add costly in terms of healthcare costs. Mark my words you will start hearing more and more about people paying higher premiums for healthcare because of their weight and physical fitness. This weight issue is a national crisis and people must be penalized for their choices if they are to weak to control themselves. I am sorry if you feel this is hurtful but I am just being honest about what I think and what many many other people are thinking. It used to be that when you saw someone with a cane or wheelchair they were old but now in most cases they are just fat.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Hallelujah! I voted for a a visionary when I voted for Karla Brown and I will proudly vote for her again. Thank you for being willing to bring these things out for discussion. Wouldn't everyone support a limit on smoking in public places and other people's shops and apartments? Everyone I know would.

I visit my mom every week at her senior housing apartment in Hayward. A few of the neighbors there smoke and everyone hates it. Keep leading us to a better town Karla and thank you for all you do.


6 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm

"Visionary"? That is laughable. Lisa is easily impressed. Karla, how about you lead us to a downtown that is maybe 1/2 as good as Livermore. I'm a resident but our downtown is for the 60 plus crowd; very boring. Karla, how about you worry our rising utility costs, our declining schools, and the lack of big business in the city. Don't infringe on our personal liberties with a problem that really in non-existent in our town.


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Posted by highdvier
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Given smokers are addicts to nicotine and it's very hard if not impossible to break that addiction. Smokers realize they pollute, they just need a fix.

Smoking in a multiunit facility can be controlled by the landlord by location of tenants.

I'm sure the next thing to be complained about is the smell of the foreign food being cooked in your neighbors apartment


6 people like this
Posted by Denise
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm

OMG, I used to smoke for many years and have become quite the hypocrite! I am ashamed of the second hand smoke I forced on unwilling and innocent victims. I swear I can smell smoke from a mile away! Never fully acknowledging as a smoker in the past the harm I was imposing on others. I'm proud to say I quit smoking a few yrs. ago and find it to be the most repulsive habit! I'm happy to see smoking slowly being phased out of our generation and I fully support the ban in Pleasanton.


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Posted by mike
a resident of Las Positas
on Sep 11, 2015 at 3:53 am

Damon: So your saying the exhaust from a car is ALMOST clean and not bad for people or the environment? So you would rather stand next to the exhaust of a car as opposed to a person having a smoke? I see where your going with this. You want to make downtown a smoke free environment because it wont impact you. (I assume you do not smoke), but your not willing to give up your car in the downtown area because that might impact you. typical Liberal thinking.


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Posted by Bob Marley
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 5:44 am

I find this all to be quite comical. The folks in this thread are all of the same demographic as I. They either were born in the 60's or 70's. Because of this, they will remember the days when EVERYONE smoked. I used to lay down with my dad on the bed watching the ball game, with him puffing a cigarette right next to me. People smoked on airplanes. In restaurants. On the sideline at soccer games. EVERYWHERE. I'm now 49 years old. Both of my parents smoked heavily. Both are still alive at 75. What does this mean? Nothing. But somehow, in 2015, we must stop people from smoking. We must. Our children are at harm. Secondhand smoke will kill us all. How come this wasn't the case in the 60's and 70's? Surely we had the same information on the negative effects of nicotine back then.

People have their own agendas....for one reason. To get noticed and heard. So good for you Karla. You got heard. Now go back to sitting behind your swanky little desk downtown with your Karla Brown nameplate that you get to stare at everyday. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Karla!!!!!!


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Posted by Pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 6:28 am

First cite smokers for littering. that will cut down on smoking in public as the smokers will have to deal with their trash and will smoke less if they don't have a place to throw it.
This is classic. government creates a problem then comes up with the solution to save all our innocent souls.
It used to be business owners decided whether they want to let customers smoke or not. Then the government said you cannot decide what's right for your business. Now everyone must go outside to smoke. Now government does not want anyone smoking in public. And get this even in your paid for home(apartment) if the government did not get involved we would have smoking restaurants and apartments and non. And people get to choose what they want instead of some jerk named Karla brown dictating how everyone lives their lives. I personally think people should only be allowed to smoke if they are on fire ( let's start with Karla brown). I don't like the smell of smoke. I do not need osha or a scientific study to know breathing in smoke or car exhaust is not healthy for the human body. if smokers were considerate we would not have this problem. They are not. Check out the trash they throw in the street without nary a thought. Selfish. Selfish. Selfish.


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:05 am

@mike "Damon: So your saying the exhaust from a car is ALMOST clean and not bad for people or the environment? So you would rather stand next to the exhaust of a car as opposed to a person having a smoke?"

No, the article I presented said that the exhaust from a diesel car engine is several times cleaner than that of a cigarette in regards to air particulate pollution. I then said that since gasoline car engines are much cleaner than diesels in regards to particulate emission. As for being next to a running car which is producing exhaust, what planet did you come from? That happens all the time. That happens when you're crossing the street in downtown Pleasanton in front of a stopped car idling its engine at a stoplight, and many other times throughout your week. It happens all the time but you just don't notice it. You'll take notice if you're having lunch downtown at an outside table and someone standing on the sidewalk lights up their cigarette though I'll bet.


2 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Wow, I guess no one thinks stepping in dog poop is so bad. The dogs are the problem downtown, are all you dog owners in denial.? There are a lot of Pleasanton Residents that are sick of the ill mannered, inconsiderate lack of concern that these owners exhibit. I do not smoke but if someone wishes to so be it, in a designated area... The same should apply for dogs, there is no place for them around food establishments, grocery stores, department stores or health facilities. The only exception should be if the dog is a Registered Guide Dog! Smoking in non designated areas will get you a fine and rightfully so. A dog owner that does not pickup his dog's poop should be fined for leaving a health hazard on the street. This is not some third world country, use the manners you where taught and be considerate of other and their property.

I am sure Karla Brown can find something to champion that is much more beneficial to the City of Pleasanton than worrying about smoking... Think Hard Karla, you can do it!


1 person likes this
Posted by Ban Priuses
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Akash wrote: "While we are at the topic of public nuisance, we should ban those Harleys ... "

I don't ride a Harley, but I find Priuses and their drivers even more irritating than loud Harleys. Most of them poke around at a snail's pace and just get in everyone's way. Ban Priuses from Pleasanton! ;-)


3 people like this
Posted by Roz
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Sep 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Karla is a good girl. My mutt 30 years ago was named ronnie, a real brown-noser. Unless you have positive constructive words, run for office yourself, pooch.


3 people like this
Posted by CJ
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Finally someone with brains in city office. Yes, cigarette smoking kills and so does second hand smoke, and that is a fact. I buried my mother who died from lung cancer after inhaling the second hand smoke from my dad who died before her.

If left up to the restaurants downtown there would still be a no smoking section. Government needs to step in where businesses are afraid to offend their customers.

Clean up downtown - you go girl. Thank you Karla you got my vote whenever you run for office!!


1 person likes this
Posted by dumb idea
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm

The police aren't going to enforce this, so what is the point. The trend all you people support is against the police enforcing anything "petty" which is being heard loud and clear by police departments all over the country. If a cop goes to enforce this law on some unruly, defiant person with a cell phone camera who does everything they can to make a scene and make the cop look like the bad guy, this council woman who created this law will be among the first to turn her back on the officer if his actions are not supported by public opinion.


5 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Hmmm. Same Karla Brown/realtor that keeps trying to get more homes approved that we don't need right now! Good idea banning cigarettes, but we have bigger fish to fry right now. Let's get some more businesses downtown that we want other than that chain store STARBUCKS that we didn't need, let's work on getting all the cut thru commuters out of our town, let's expand wayside park for our Friday night concerts, maybe put any library expansion on hold till you can get one of your developer buddies to pay for it, and quit trying to build homes on the sides of hills where the citizens don't want them built!!


4 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm

@Damon, try this test (at your own risk). Lock yourself in your garage with a few smokers, have them chain smoke for a few hours. After a few hours you will stink, will have watery eyes and so on, but you will live. Now, get rid of the smokers and put your car in the garage, seal the garage and turn the engine on and see what happens after a few hours. Get my point? The exhaust of cars is more harmful than second-hand smoking. While I agree that second-hand smoking is harmful in enclosed spaces over time, it makes no difference in the outdoors. Fine people for littering not smoking. By the way, I'm an ex-smoker.


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

"@Damon, try this test (at your own risk). Lock yourself in your garage with a few smokers, have them chain smoke for a few hours. After a few hours you will stink, will have watery eyes and so on, but you will live. Now, get rid of the smokers and put your car in the garage, seal the garage and turn the engine on and see what happens after a few hours. Get my point?"

I can't tell if you're being serious or if you're just trying to play a tongue-in-cheek "wise-guy" game with me. OK, I'm going to go with "wise-guy", so here's my wise-guy response to you: Lock yourself in your garage and seal all of the small openings with silicone caulk. Get out your garden hose and fill your garage completely with water. See how many minutes (not hours) you can survive inside your garage completely immersed in water without any air or oxygen before you drown to death. Therefore, we can argue that water is more dangerous than either car exhaust or secondhand smoke and should be banned from downtown. Get my point?


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Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 11, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Second hand smoke will not hurt you Damon. The "science" has been bought and paid for by pharma and anti smoking zealots!


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 12, 2015 at 4:53 am

Concerned about health and the cost of unhealthy behaviors? Please also consider a ban on vehicle exhaust and a tax on obesity.


2 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Las Positas
on Sep 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

Damon:

George got you on that one. He was serious. People who want to commit suicide are not going to smoke themself to death, but they will Sit in a their car in an enclosed garage and run the car. It works.

Also, are you saying that all the cars driving up and down Main Street will not casue any health issues, but the few people walking down the street smoking will casue seriou shealth issues. As you said to me what planet are you from Damon. The cars and the trucks driving on Main Street are by far more of a health issue then the smokers, but the smokers are an easy target.


3 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:13 am

@Mike : "George got you on that one. He was serious. People who want to commit suicide are not going to smoke themself to death, but they will Sit in a their car in an enclosed garage and run the car. It works."

Or they can completely fill their garage with water and drown themselves. But, seriously, I think that you and George are oversimplifying matters and don't realize that the term "harmful" is a one-dimensional scale. George tried to argue that car exhaust (or more specifically, the carbon monoxide in car exhaust) is more "harmful" than secondhand smoke. I then turned his own argument against him by showing that using the same argument that it could be argued that water is even more "harmful" than either car exhaust or secondhand smoke.

I think what both George and you overlook is the difference between substances which can be harmful in a chronic, long-term exposure sense, and substances that can be harmful on a short time scale with excessive exposure but have no long-term harmful effects. Water, carbon monoxide, or even nitrogen (which makes up 70% of the air that you're breathing right now) can be "harmful" if you breathe too much of any of them, but if you're in a closed garage with a running car and start to feel dizzy and get headaches due to breathing too much carbon monoxide from the car exhaust, all you have to do is walk outside and breath some fresh air and you'll fully recover after some time with no lingering or long-term negative effects to your health. Are you starting to see the difference now between car exhaust and secondhand smoke in terms of health effects?

In contrast to carbon monoxide poisoning, the harmful effects of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke build up over time. The lungs get more and more damaged over time from exposure to smoke. Not like the case of carbon monoxide poisoning where you can simply stop and fully recover. In the case of smoking the lung damage is permanent and it accumulates with further exposure to smoke. That's what makes cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke so dangerous and harmful.


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:16 am

Excuse me, in my post above it should read that "...the term 'harmful' is NOT a one-dimensional scale..."


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Posted by ed
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

Web Link


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Posted by George
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 12, 2015 at 10:20 am

@Damon, hopefully we won't have a flooding problem in downtown this winter :)


3 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2015 at 5:32 pm

"Also, are you saying that all the cars driving up and down Main Street will not casue any health issues, but the few people walking down the street smoking will casue seriou shealth issues."

What he is saying is that smoke is a more serious health risk to people than modern auto emissions, and he's right.


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Posted by SkyGuy
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:00 pm

@Damon, This is literally the most imbecilic misconception of the way the body works that I have ever read. Also, cars contribute at least 55% of pollution in the tri-valley. Please let me see you support a Manhattan project for EVs before I see you support a smoking ban in the name of Public Health. Jesus, what a shill. . . .

'@Mike : "George got you on that one. He was serious. People who want to commit suicide are not going to smoke themself to death, but they will Sit in a their car in an enclosed garage and run the car. It works."

Or they can completely fill their garage with water and drown themselves. But, seriously, I think that you and George are oversimplifying matters and don't realize that the term "harmful" is a one-dimensional scale. George tried to argue that car exhaust (or more specifically, the carbon monoxide in car exhaust) is more "harmful" than secondhand smoke. I then turned his own argument against him by showing that using the same argument that it could be argued that water is even more "harmful" than either car exhaust or secondhand smoke.

I think what both George and you overlook is the difference between substances which can be harmful in a chronic, long-term exposure sense, and substances that can be harmful on a short time scale with excessive exposure but have no long-term harmful effects. Water, carbon monoxide, or even nitrogen (which makes up 70% of the air that you're breathing right now) can be "harmful" if you breathe too much of any of them, but if you're in a closed garage with a running car and start to feel dizzy and get headaches due to breathing too much carbon monoxide from the car exhaust, all you have to do is walk outside and breath some fresh air and you'll fully recover after some time with no lingering or long-term negative effects to your health. Are you starting to see the difference now between car exhaust and secondhand smoke in terms of health effects?

In contrast to carbon monoxide poisoning, the harmful effects of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke build up over time. The lungs get more and more damaged over time from exposure to smoke. Not like the case of carbon monoxide poisoning where you can simply stop and fully recover. In the case of smoking the lung damage is permanent and it accumulates with further exposure to smoke. That's what makes cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke so dangerous and harmful.'


2 people like this
Posted by SkyGuy
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:12 pm

I'd like to see a city-wide ban on smoking and make Pleasanton the first city in California to enact such a law. If smokers want to smoke, move elsewhere. While we are at the topic of public nuisance, we should ban those Harleys from cruising our streets so everyone can enjoy some peace and quiet. Their loud and obnoxious bikes serve no purpose other than to annoy. We need to ban those from our streets and send a message that Pleasanton is a family town.

lmfao, that'll get the trains running on time!

'No Smoking'
'No Loud Toys'
'Family First'
'America First'
'Whites Only'

lol


3 people like this
Posted by Terence
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

The biggest contributor to poor public health is in fact auto emissions, autos take the cake when it comes to air pollution.

This whole community is rubbish, why don't YOU move to some rural area where we don't have to deal with your legislative BS shenanigans -- isn't there more important work to do?? Why do we even pay you people??


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 9, 2017 at 9:04 pm

While we are being completely bigoted in our discussion can I throw curry under the buss? Can we ban cooking Indian food without a air hood and filter in place? I love eating it, can't stand when neighbors or restaurants cook it.....there is a reason they have second kitchens.

I think the solution goes back to taxing cigarettes more. Don't burry the city with more beuarcay in trying to enforce an unenforceable law. Just pass an additional tax on cigarettes to cover the city cost (fully burdened) of picking up butts, maintaining and creating smoking areas, etc.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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