MISSION VIEJO : Vote on Smoking Ban Is Delayed
A tough anti-smoking ordinance that would ban cigarette vending machines and smoking in public places was tabled by the City Council this week.
The proposed law also calls for a ban on cigarette advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and on all smoking within workplaces in the city.
Expressing concern that the ordinance would hurt local restaurants, the council decided 4 to 1 to postpone its vote to give the city time to gather reaction to the proposed law.
“I think this is a fine ordinance,” said Councilwoman Sharon Cody. But, she added, “the city of Mission Viejo does not have the luxury of many business to support our economy. We shouldn’t do something that will keep (restaurants) from surviving.”
Cody and Mayor Robert A. Curtis said they could support a measure that allowed restaurants to set aside smoking areas.
“I would like to meet you halfway on this,” Cody said to Councilman Robert D. Breton, sponsor of the proposed ordinance. “I would like to make it possible to allow for an 80% to 20% (nonsmoking to smoking) mix or maybe 60% to 40% and give (restaurants) the option to allow smoking.”
Breton called for the ban in all workplaces, public and private. The smoking restriction would also apply to child and senior health-care facilities.
In addition, Breton pressed the council to put cigarettes “out of the reach of minors” by banning cigarette vending machines and all cigarette advertising within 1,000 feet of a school.