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LA PALMA : Council to Consider Smoking Ordinance

A tough anti-smoking ordinance is scheduled to come before the City Council on Sept. 6, and its sponsor, Councilwoman Eva G. Miner, says the measure has strong citywide support.

“I introduced this ordinance because I think secondhand (cigarette) smoke is a killer,” said Miner in an interview. “I’ve received a lot of support, including 75 letters from students at Kennedy High School who say they are opposed to smoking.”

Miner said she knows of no organized opposition to the anti-smoking ordinance. The measure was scheduled to have been voted on by the City Council at its Aug. 16 meeting but was postponed because that session lasted until after midnight.

The proposed citywide anti-smoking ordinance would include restrictions that are not in the new statewide law, Miner said.

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“We want to end smoking in restaurants, period,” Miner said, noting that state law allows part of restaurant space to be designated for smokers. The La Palma ordinance would phase out smoking in restaurants. The ordinance provides restaurants in the city must designate 75% of their space as nonsmoking; six months later, 100% of the restaurant space must be nonsmoking, the proposed ordinance says.

Miner noted that her ordinance also would crack down on cigarette vending machines. She said she thinks vending machines are particularly dangerous because children can go into many stores and use the machines to buy cigarettes.

The proposed ordinance says that within six months, “no cigarette or other tobacco product may be sold, offered for sale or distributed by or from a tobacco vending machine.”

Miner said that in addition to seeking support for a citywide ordinance, she is also campaigning against a statewide initiative on the November ballot. Backed by tobacco companies, it would no longer allow local governments to limit smoking.

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