Supervisors narrowly ban smoking at San Luis Obispo County parks

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an ordinance that would ban smoking in some outdoor areas of the county.

The vote was 3-2, with Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill, and Jim Patterson in favor, and Frank Mecham and Paul Teixeira opposed.

The proposal outlaws smoking at county mini-parks and neighborhood parks, in parking lots near county buildings and at other outdoor locations.

“There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke,” according to a report to the board from Health Agency Director Jeff Hamm and General Services Director Janette Pell.

They called the proposal a “wide-reaching effort that would place San Luis Obispo County in the forefront of tobacco-control efforts.”

The ordinance calls for a ban at “structures owned, leased, concessioned or otherwise operated directly or indirectly by the county (and) all land appurtenant to those structures, including but not limited to parking lots, walkways, landscapes and patios.”

It would allow the county health officer to designate exemptions, and there is a specific proposal to allow smoking areas at county airports as well as at the psychiatric health facility.