California changes age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21
In an effort to improve its tobacco control policies, the city of Pismo Beach has banned smoking in several new public spaces, including outdoor dining patios and several major sidewalks around the town.
The new regulations go into effect Thursday.
Beside outdoor dining areas for restaurants and hotels, the smoking ban extends to bus stops, unenclosed workplaces, spots in front of ATMs and other service areas and entryways for various buildings including health care facilities, child care facilities and senior centers, according to a news release.
Smoking is also prohibited in public places when being used for special events such as farmers markets, fairs and concerts, as well as recreational areas such as hiking trails, bike paths and sports fields, the release said
Sidewalks along Shell Beach Road, Five Cities Drive and in the downtown area are all smoke-free zones.
The extended ban includes smoking cannabis products and vaping.
“It is the intent of the City Council to protect adults and children from the potential dangers of second-hand smoke while they enjoy the Pismo Beach community,” Mayor Ed Waage said in a news release on Monday. “Additionally, the proliferation of smoking-related litter detracts from the standards that our residents and visitors alike, have come to expect from our city.”
The new rules give Pismo Beach some of the most stringent anti-smoking regulations in the San Luis Obispo County, in line with Morro Bay and the city of San Luis Obispo.
The city’s old ban previously prohibited smoking at public parks, playgrounds, the Pismo Beach Pier and the beach, as well as “within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance or operable window of a public building.”
The extended ban comes after Pismo Beach was one of only two in the county to receive a failing grade from the American Lung Association for its lack of comprehensive tobacco control policies. The other city was Atascadero.
The city will install signs in the downtown area to inform the community about the updated regulations. Violators will be subject to a $250 fine for a first violation, with higher fines for repeated violations.
“The city’s goal is compliance and not citations,” City Manager Jim Lewis said in the news release. “For the first 30 days, as has been our past practice, courtesy warnings will be given to inform individuals of the regulations before citations are issued.”
“We want everyone to have an enjoyable experience,” he added. “Limiting smoking in other areas throughout the city has been beneficial and there has been positive voluntary compliance; we expect the same will occur with the expanded prohibited areas.”