Last night, the City Council approved an ordinance to ban all smoking in city parks and on city trails, exempting only the golf course from the ban. Put forward by the Pleasanton Youth Commission, this ban on smoking will take effect in the coming months.
"I want to applaud the initiative of our Youth Commission," said Susan Andrade-Wax, Director of Community Services. "We tried some time back to get a ban on smoking, but now public health risks associated with smoking and secondhand smoke are such that the time is right to take action, and we really appreciate all the hard work our commissioners put into this effort."
The Youth Commission began investigating the city’s current smoking restrictions roughly 2 years ago and compared it against other cities throughout the state. They also took the added step of creating a public policy sub-committee, which participated in the Alameda County Public Health Department’s "Project Teen Friendly; this involved surveying the community about tobacco products being sold in local stores, observing how tobacco is being used in Pleasanton, and surveying general community opinions about smoking and its effects in our community.
"There are 3 primary reasons we believe this ban is important for our community," said Andrade-Wax. "Of the 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes, 69 are known carcinogens; we believe smoking and secondhand smoke is a health hazard, a fire hazard, and cigarette butts create an environmental problem with littering in our city."
Currently, there are 175 municipalities in California alone that ban smoking in city parks, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Right Foundation. Over 1,000 municipalities have a similar ban throughout the United States.
The Youth Commission Public Policy Subcommittee members whose initiative resulted in the proposed ordinance include Meghna Sinha, Winne Zhou, Megan Slonksnis, Ann Lee, Michelle Zhou and Dhruv Parmar.