Yorba Linda : Smoking Ban Is Given Preliminary Approval

After listening to a wide range of testimony--from residents driving across the city line to dine in smoke-free restaurants to relatives talking of loved ones lost to cancer, the City Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places, private businesses and restaurants.

Wearing buttons with no-smoking slogans such as “Yes, I mind if you smoke,” residents who described themselves as “ardent” nonsmokers gave emotional pleas to a council that unanimously agreed with them. The council will take final action on the law at its next meeting.

“I can’t imagine any intelligent person doubting that smoking is harmful,” said Brett Benson, a member of the recently created Yorba Linda for Non-Smokers’ Rights. “They (smokers) have no right whatsoever to harm my kids, the residents of Yorba Linda or anyone else. (If) they want to harm themselves, that’s their business.”

The proposed ordinance is tougher than ones recently adopted by the county and several cities, such as Brea, which has asked businesses through its Chamber of Commerce to draft a program of compliance.