Smoking ban approved in SLO

The San Luis Obispo City Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 to give its final approval to a ban on smoking in nearly all areas open to the public.

Under the new law, which passed 4-1 on April 6, smoking is prohibited in indoor and outdoor areas frequented by the public, including sidewalks, parking garages, bars, restaurants, stores, stadiums, playgrounds and transit centers. It becomes effective May 20.

The citywide ban puts San Luis Obispo in the same class with two dozen other California cities that have banned smoking from all areas frequented by the public, including multi-unit residential areas.

Although San Luis Obispo’s ordinance does not ban smoking in private residences or apartments, it prohibits smoking in common areas of multi-unit residential complexes.

In December, the council voted to ban smoking in Mission Plaza, the downtown creek area and the city’s parks. Council members also directed staff to return in a few months with a comprehensive plan.

Twenty years ago, San Luis Obispo became the first city in the nation to ban indoor smoking in public places.

Police will not actively enforce the smoking ban but may issue citations for violations.

Councilman John Ashbaugh voted against the ban.