Secondhand smoke drifts regardless of scale

The health of the citizens of Glendale has been sold out to private retail tobacco interests and the business owners who are eager to profit at the expense of our children, families and senior citizens who are susceptible to the toxins and poisons in secondhand tobacco smoke.

Glendale's outdoor dining ordinance allowed smoking in up to 25% of the total outdoor dining area, regardless of size of the dining area, as long as there is sufficient space for a 10-foot buffer.

At the Glendale City Council meeting on Oct. 2, the comprehensive smoke-free outdoor air ordinance that was introduced by Councilman Dave Weaver at the previous week’s meeting was replaced by one offered by Councilman Ara Najarian, who introduced a three-tier ordinance:

1. Outdoor dining areas under 2,000 square feet, up to 25% of the total outdoor dining area may be designated for smoking;

2. Outdoor dining areas of 2,000 square feet to less than 5,000 square feet, up to 50% of the total outdoor dining area may be designated for smoking;

3. Outdoor dining areas of 5,000 square feet or more, up to 66% of the outdoor area may be designated for smoking.

The substitute ordinance was adopted with a 3-2 vote with Najarian, Laura Friedman and Rafi Manoukian approving, and Frank Quintero and Weaver dissenting.

Citizens and visitors to Glendale are now going to be subjected to breathing tobacco smoke at every popular outdoor dining patio in the city.

Even from a 25% smoking area, the tobacco smoke drifts and will affect 100% of the people. That smoke containing 70 known cancer-causing agents will end up in your lungs and in your body.

I hope voters will remember this action next spring when Friedman and Najarian are both up for reelection to the City Council.

Steven J. Gallegos

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