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Poll: What Do You Think of Alameda's New Smoking Ban?

The law makes it illegal to smoke in most public spaces in the city starting on Jan. 2.


Alameda's new smoking ordinance, which was unanimously , took effect Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.

The law , including the sidewalks of business districts, in shopping centers and parks — and within 20 feet of all windows and doors.

Details and also on the City of Alameda's website (also see the handout from the City of Alameda to the right). 

The new ordinance has hit the news around the Bay Area. KGO visited the Island and NBC and CBS also ran stories. For context, it looks like Boise, Idaho has passed a similiar law, effective today.

But what do you think? Good for Alameda or bad?

Jean Powers January 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM
It is about time that Alameda has done something right!
Jaan Carter January 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
This is a step in the direction of The Common Good, instead of ME, ME, ME.
Serena Chen January 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
This is first and foremost a public health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) can cause a fatal heart attack with as little as 30 minutes exposure indoors. Being within 5 feet of one smoking person outdoors can result in negative health affects,including coughing, asthma exacerbations, headaches, and difficulty breathing.
Tonya January 03, 2012 at 07:14 PM
As someone who suffers from smoke induced asthma, I applaud the new ordinance. I'm hoping I can finally walk by Starbucks on Park Street without having to experience a coughing attack. I understand that personal freedom is important, but sometimes the health and safety of the larger group should take precedence over an individual's personal freedom to smoke wherever and whenever he/she chooses.
John Piziali January 04, 2012 at 12:15 AM
your right to do what you want ends at my nose. If I can't smell it then I don't care what you do. If I'm smelling it and breathing it then you have infringed on my right to clean air. I have been a smoker in my life time and still cannot figure out why I smoked.
Dede January 04, 2012 at 12:31 AM
It makes me happy to know that I no longer have to walk around clouds of smoke or get a whiff of the toxic smell as I stroll down the street. I recently lost my mother, a lifelong non smoker, to lung cancer due in part, we believe, to second hand smoke from my father's habit. Although he quit decades ago, the depth of residual effects go much deeper than the stale smell in old drapes. As a person who made it though the disco era, when everybody smoked something, I hope my daughter never has to go through the pain and sadness of caring for me in my last days of life cut short by lung cancer. Thank you, Alameda, for eliminating smoking from my Island life.
Les Chan January 04, 2012 at 01:27 AM
The first thing I heard about the law was the NBC cameraman shooting video at Central and Park Streets yesterday morning. I fully support the new law!
Ken Harrison January 04, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Damned straight!
Karen fong January 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I detest being subjected to a smoking passerby when I'm eating at an outdoor establishment or merely walking down the street. I am often out for exercise or shopping and deserve to breath clean air during the course of my day. The bigger message is more important though, smoking is no longer socially acceptable mainly because of its health risks to the smokers and those in "air shot" of them. It's time to tell the smokers that we do not want to breath their exhaust nor do we want to bear any subsequent healthcare costs for them or ourselves due to their poor choice of habit.  There was a time when people with breathing issues like asthma had to stay indoors. It's come to the point that they can not even do that due to drifting smoke. Now these people go and do what they want to, at least, in the City of Alameda
Karen fong January 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM
It's also about the butts! What gives smokers the right to litter? How often to you see a smoker throw their cigarette butt on the ground, mash it with their shoe (or not) and simply walk away or the million times you see those butts getting tossed out of car windows? Think ENVIRONMENT folks! Where are those butts going? If they are not picked up by, yet more tax dollars, they are headed for our sewers which empty into our water supply. This water supply is our oceans, bays, deltas, lakes, ponds, and estuaries which feeds our fish, birds, crops, pets and drinking water. I'm talking about a vicious polution cycle here. Contemplate the half-life of a cigarette butt ... It's society's responsibility to tell potential smokers (yes, our beloved youth) that is not ok to begin smoking and we can do this by example and removing smoking from our public places, where we live, where we work and where we play.
Paula Wujek January 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Thank goodness. It's a public health issue and a quality of life issue. Public spaces should be safe and environmentally friendly for all: children, the elderly, pets, and people who like to breathe. Smokers can smoke all they want in areas where others who choose not to smoke don't have to participate unwillingly.
Dana Carey, Ruby Bridges Parent January 04, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Peronally, I am happy about the new law. APD says they will not actively seek out people who are smoking, unless there is a complaint. I am glad to see many support it as well. While I do understand a smokers need to smoke freely, some do not realize that you can still smell their smoke half a block away! And with my child, I am extremely aware of smoke. The cigarette butt are a bother, especially when someone tosses it on the ground or trash and don't even bother to put it out! I have put out a large fire started by someone tossing the cigarette into the trash. They never did look around or look back, and that's the problem?
zeogirl45 January 05, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Woohoo!!! This law makes me a proud Alamedan. It shows that those at the top making decisions for our city care about our health, the environment and in protecting our youth and fellow Alamedans. I have nothing against the person who is smoking, some of them are my good friends, I just don't care for the toxic smoke and the litter butts.
Rob January 05, 2012 at 09:19 AM
You all have to be kidding me...hopefully we are not paying for a police force that has enough free time to cite people for smoking while walking down the street; I know this law is supposed to provide probable cause to search unwanted members of the community, but there are real criminals (even here) that I would prefer the police officers to spend their expensive time on... this law goes way farther than most places, even for California, and I didn't even get a chance to vote for it...
Li_ January 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The law is unethical. It assumes guilt and requires the accused to prove innocence. In a genuine effort to do good, and get some good press, we have allowed a law that uses extreme means, to the point of causing harm to some. I believe this end (no nicotine, causing the reported 6% of us who still smoke to stop or move out) does not justify the means taken.
joel January 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
if the new law save one life and it will save more than one then it is worth it, I have seen my Father a very active man die from lung cancer due to smoking for 20 years , that's how long they were able to prolong his life removing a bit of lung at the time , nothing glamorous about it .
D. Wojick June 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM
It is a law passed at the whim of an incompetent city council! It was NEVER voted on! what happened to democracy? Recall this council and the puppet mayor. I am a non-smoker BTW
manzanillolove September 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
i am a somewhat new resident of alameda ive been a smoker for 10 years i think this law is a violation of peoples rights yes i can understand the non smoking 20 feet from a business but this is ridiculous i work very hard 60 to 80 hours a week n sometimes i need a relaxing smoke i mean its kind of contradictive cause if it is illegal then y are stores selling cigarettes and why are there ash treys almost everywhere i go. i have also noticed not that many people smoke in alameda not because of the law that was passed so whats the big deal i could understand im more people smoked. it is not like non smokers are exposed to all this "clouds of smoke" so they say if at all they are exposed to maybe 2 or 3 seconds of it and if they are exposed to longer periods they can simply walk away or ask the person to stop. and yes i am aware that over a period of time it can cause problems but come on not that long ago you were able to smoke anywhere you wanted even in establishments honestly i think alameda is just filled with a bunch of senior citizens with nothing better to do....... and yes i am aware that there are a lot of people under the age of 50 that do embrace the law but that is not the point it is a very dumb law that was passed and should be recalled. the law enforcement of alameda need to focus more on violent crimes and robberies not the people that are trying to relieve stress and anger by smoking.....smoking has been around for generations get used to it!!!!!!.......
manzanillolove September 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
also im what u call a respectful smoker i try my best not to smoke in an area of people. if i am unable to do so than i find a parking lot.. such as the one in front of the alameda theatre even then when someone walks by i do not blow my smoke out till they pass me ESPECIALLY when there is a child present i have also gone to the point of putting my cigarette out it would just be a lot easier if the law was recalled and a different law replaces it such as if someone askes you if you dont smoke in front of them or something in that nature....
dj January 28, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Many smokers refuse to obey the law and are rude and threatening when you nicely ask them to stop whether on Park St or at the Dog Park. These same 'libertarians' would, no doubt, be upset if someone 'decided' not to obey laws against robbing them. Your rights stop where mine begin. Please obey the law.
R Foster February 25, 2013 at 03:11 AM
I have had many migraines and elevated blood pressure episodes brought on by rude and offensive people. I know lets pass a law!


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