Council continues smoking ban discussion


An ordinance to prohibit smoking in Danville's recreational areas was discussed again at Tuesday's Town Council meeting. Despite some debate about smoker's rights, the council voted unanimously to continue the discussion on Sept. 20.

The expanded ordinance, presented by the Parks and Leisure Services Commission, would ban smoking in all of Danville's recreational facilities by posting signs, providing education and fining offenders up to $100. Currently, smoking is banned within 25 feet of tot lots and playgrounds.

"All patrons (should) enjoy fitness activities without being affected negatively," said Recreation Services Manager Michelle Lacy.

Before the council could come to a conclusion about the ordinance, several members spoke of a partial ban that would allow smoking in designated, rented areas.

Councilmember Robert Storer pointed out that by banning smoking altogether, the public's rights are reduced when they utilize the recreational areas. Storer cited alcoholic beverage rules in parks and questioned whether the town had a right to prohibit cigarette smoke in a rented facility but not liquor.

"I think what we're looking at here is a rights issue. We should at least have the discussion about folks who want the right to smoke a cigar or cigarette in a private, rented area," he said.

Several councilmembers dissented and said that a partial ban would be nearly impossible to enforce.

"Smoke doesn't stay within a container," Vice Mayor Candace Andersen stated.

Seventeen-year-old Danville resident Ryan Levenson said he hoped the ban would be implemented because he believes that the secondhand smoke makes parks less pleasurable.

"It's not something we want as kids in our parks," he said. "When I was younger I used to play Mustang Soccer. (Smoking) made it less pleasurable and it effected me playing."

Although the 194 acres of Danville's parks will allow smoking for now, Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said that the town is currently in compliance with all state smoking laws. If the ban is adopted at the council's next meeting, it will take effect 30 days later on Oct. 20.


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Posted by Samantha
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

I used to work as a prevention researcher and one of the projects I was on was to research how local ordinances were or were not passed to ban smoking in restaurants and/or bars in about 20 different municipalities in the U.S. The conclusion that was made, in short, and it can be applied in this situation, is that there are often several different pathways to accomplish the ban. Different approaches can be used. Here is a website I just found that addresses this issue and may be of some use to our city council. For instance the "Pathway" our council can take is "Better Public Health in Our Community". Or maybe there is a better "Pathway/Approach" that would better address this issue in our community.

As a parent and ex-smoker of over 20 years, I am the "worst"... I wish people could only smoke inside their homes and cars. Interesting Website: Web Link

Another idea is that maybe the Danville Council could work with Contra Costa County on this so that all of the unincorporated parts of the Danville area would be included in the ordinance, if it were passed. Blackhawk, East Danville, Alamo, etc.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

Samantha...Please consider keeping your suggestions in your own backyard and do not try and push your agenda outside the boundaries of your simple little town of Danville. Thank you so much thinking of us.

Julia Pardini from Beautiful Alamo...smoke and/or no smoke.

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Posted by Free to Enjoy Clean Air
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Good health and the right to be free of other people's offensive habits is not an "agenda." Feel free to kill yourself in your own home or car, but don't impose your bad choices (and lethal, noxious fumes) on the rest of the residents--especially where kids play. Samantha offers creative ideas to help improve all of our lives. By analogy, we all accept and agree with ordinances limiting loud noise (leaf blowers early in the morning and loud parties late at night). That's what zoning laws are for. As Ms. Andersen astutely points out, "smoke doesn't stay within a container." Just as we have noise ordinances to preserve our collective right to quiet enjoyment in our community, we should have anti-smoking ordinances to do the same. In fact, anti-smoking laws are much more important--they protect our health, not just our peace and quiet. Since we can't avoid breathing the polluted air generated by smokers, it is necessary to proscribe their behavior. Smoking in public is a privilege, not a right. It should only be allowed to the extent it does not affect others negatively.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I quit smoking over 40 years ago when I saw the lungs of a dead smoker in a formaltihyde (sic) jar. It was so horrible I never smoked again. I am amazed at how many young people are smoking these days. They are very intelligent too - why are they drawn to this deadly habit?

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Posted by Samantha
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Geez Julia Pardini, Go smoke some of that marijuana you want legalized or grab a cig to calm yourself. "My backyard" is not in Danville proper, but in unincorporated Danville - part of Contra Costa County gov't. Therefore, whatever I am encouraging "in my backyard" would not be affected by what the Danville Council is doing. But, who knows... Your comment may once again be bounced and your comment will only further me now to push this FANTASTIC and LIFE-SAVING and HEALTHFUL AGENDA not only on Danville, but in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Your immature, sarcastic comment has totally, totally motivated me to get moving so that we can have a totally SMOKE-FREE Contra Costa County INCLUDING BEAUTIFUL (AND KINDA BORING) ALAMO!!!
Sammy :)
P.S. Julia, whatcha youra problema? Notta fora the gooda healtha for the Americans? Maybe you need a trip back to good 'ole Italy to breathe in the smoka!

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Posted by Alyson
a resident of Danville
on Sep 9, 2011 at 7:06 am

Thank you Samantha ... over the past few years whenever I view the comments section of the Danville Weekly, it never fails ... Julia's negative comments appear everywhere! It just amazes me that someone can be so negative about the people and surroundings where she lives! Don't be so miserable Julia, life isn't so bad!

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Posted by jjjj
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

please tell me where unincorporated Danville is located either you live in danville or the county you must want to impress by saying I live in Danville i would like to know where is unincorporated Danville

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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

I think smoking outdoors should be permitted if the wind is from the North-Northwest quadrant and exceeds 5.2 mph!
Seriously, I think there has to be a limit on what, where and when "the government" controls the interactions of society.

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Posted by Nick
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

STOP meaningless discussions ... ban smoking in all of Danville's parks NOW!

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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Live and let live folks....I can't remember the last time I had to smell tobacco in a Danville park for more than a brief moment. If I want to smoke a cigar at the park (MAYBE once a year) I should be able to do so, get over yourself and your desire to regulate my random desire to have a cigar. Of course regular smokers have health complications, but that is a tradeoff they make personally to sustain their addiction. BUT, let me ask you this, obesity is the real looming problem for our country from a health standpoint...given the "anti-smoking" healthy platform, why should we not also regulate obesity? True story..I am in the healthcare business and right after a meeting with a Medical Director with Intermountain Healthplan in Salt Lake (Intermountain Healthcare is the integrated hospital/health insurance/religion regime in Utah) he had to go "get weighed" to check his weight. If he was overweight he was subject to sanction by his employer, the Mormon church. I was shocked, but yesiree...he had to go get weighed. Government,Religion...stay out of our lives. I still remember my Grandpa's cigars every now and then, enough of this NANNY abuse of power...I am not exaggerating, the Salt Lake story is true...

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Posted by Whomever
a resident of Danville
on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Danville has two zip codes in its city as far as I understand: 94526 and 94506. "Unincorprated Danville" means you have a 94506 zip code, but you are not within the Danville city boundaries, with City of Danville government oversight, such as the East side of Danville. and Blackhawk, which both have the 94506 zip codes. For example, if a police officer is needed in these areas, the Danville police would not be the ones to respond. The Contra Costa Sheriff's department oversee most of the criminal activity in those areas I suppose. Maybe Danville police would come if they needed backup for some reason, but I am no expert on how that all works.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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