Skip to comments.CA: Smoking law murky for some residents (El Cajon)
Posted on 03/14/2008 10:56:57 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
EL CAJON The six-month grace period on El Cajon's strict new smoking law ends today, but it's hard to tell what has changed.
No signs alert people that smoking is banned in virtually all public places. Visitors may not even know the law the strictest in the county exists.
That was the case with Poway resident Kimberly Frederico, 38, who was smoking a cigarette outside the El Cajon courthouse yesterday while on a break from jury duty.
I think it's a little too extreme, Frederico said. Smoking is prohibited in many places across the county, but El Cajon's law is the most encompassing and could surprise smokers looking for their fix outside a restaurant or while walking down a busy street.
The El Cajon City Council approved the law in July but agreed to waive fines for six months so businesses and smokers could get used to it. Police aren't expected to patrol for violators, but lawbreakers could face fines of up to $500. Police received some complaints, but so far no tickets have been issued.
El Cajon has done little to advertise the law. The cash-strapped city is wrestling with a $6.1 million budget deficit and can't afford a public education campaign.
The nonsmokers will be telling the smokers, that's what's going to happen, said Councilman Gary Kendrick, who pushed for the law as a way to protect people from secondhand smoke. I see this as being 99 percent citizen-enforced.
El Cajon's ordinance prohibits smoking anywhere people are likely to be, such as outdoor restaurants, festivals or even the common areas at an apartment or condominium complex. Instead, smokers would have to go to designated areas, which the city calls smoking outposts.
Cities throughout the county have either restricted smoking or plan to do so. In February, smoking was outlawed at Encinitas beaches, parks and trails. Lemon Grove is expected to consider a ban at city parks.
Smoking is forbidden on restaurant patios in Chula Vista, parks and trails in Poway, county parks and campgrounds, parks in La Mesa, and parks and beaches in San Diego, Oceanside, Coronado, Solana Beach and Del Mar.
Last year, the Escondido City Council considered a smoking ban at its parks, trails and open-space areas but rejected the idea.
Smoking is awful, but I don't think we should be overly restrictive, Escondido Councilman Dick Daniels said.
Some elements of the El Cajon law still need to be ironed out. It's unclear how out-of-town visitors will know about the ordinance, and crowds tend to flock to downtown El Cajon in the summer for the weekly concerts and car shows.
Claire Carpenter, president and chief executive of the El Cajon Community Development Corp., said the organization will try get the word out through its roving ambassadors, who wear yellow shirts and provide directions, pick up trash and check in with downtown businesses.
The San Diego County Apartment Association is concerned that the law places an unfair burden on landlords and has been meeting with city officials.
How do you evict a tenant that otherwise has been a model tenant, but they've been caught smoking in a common area? asked Michelle Miller, public-affairs manager for the apartment association.
Building owners are eager to comply with the law, she said. The group is providing sample notices that owners can give to tenants, and a seminar about the law is planned next month for its El Cajon members.
Smokers can still legally light up outside the El Cajon courthouse because the property is under the county's jurisdiction. A spokeswoman said the courthouse plans to opt in to El Cajon's ordinance but hasn't received an official response from the city.
James Zabka, 23, was smoking a cigarette there yesterday morning, even though he had heard about the law.
They haven't really posted it or advertised it in any way where people know about it, Zabka said.
The Santee resident said he would probably continue to smoke in El Cajon if I have the urge.
Online: For more information about El Cajon’s law, go to http://www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us
I sure hope that this city is willing to forego any revenues from the master settlement agreement and any tobacco tax.
“99% citizen enforced”
Wasn’t that a pillar of the policies that Hitler put into place?
Create all kinds of laws to the point that a person cannot live thru even one day when they are not breaking the laws.
This is why conservatives should never support government efforts to ban something merely because it is "offensive". Once you start giving governments that power, they will abuse it for stupid purposes... like this.
Thanks for the link to the ordinance on your Post 1.
Tickets, Fines, Lawsuits? It’s a free for all.
They really do have some Cajones.
I see this as being 99 percent citizen-enforced.
Think he’d be OK with enforcing immigration law this way?
The Nazis were big anti-tobabbco as well...
They -nutsis - never worried about it....who the hell
follows this stuff to research who did it...why? Is
this the way Sherlock Holmes started?..forget it and
let the smoke flow...no one is living forever..except
the big guy ...in the smoky clouds??? JK
“They -nutsis - never worried about it...”
The hell they didnt...
“who the hell follows this stuff to research who did it...”
People like me who want to learn from history so they we arent not doomed to repeat it...
Because facist policies are facist policies..no matter what they are dressed up as...or who pushes them...
“Is this the way Sherlock Holmes started?
Aside from him being fictional...He smoked too didnt he?
“When you eliminate the impossible....whatever remains...no matter how improbable.....must be the truth...”
“..forget it and
let the smoke flow...no one is living forever..except
the big guy ...in the smoky clouds??? JK”
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