People may soon be taking 10 paces in front of bars, but they won’t be carrying six-shooters.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Tobacco Control Ordinance at its first hearing on Sept. 25. If the ordinance passes at the second hearing on Nov. 20, it will change the county code to prohibit smoking within 20 feet of any area or building where smoking is prohibited, and would go into effect Dec. 20.
Patrons of outdoor seating sections for restaurants or bars will be allowed to smoke, under the condition that the smoke does not enter adjacent work sites or residences. Outdoor smoking sections must be clearly marked with signs, and in the case of restaurants, the entire section must be in the same area, and it must be located the furthest distance from the restaurant entrance, so as to minimize the chance of smoke entering the restaurant.
“The intent of this particular ordinance is to protect employees, but [it] will protect all,” 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall said. “While I support an individual’s right to smoke, I also support protecting those individuals who don’t.”
While it is unlikely the ordinance will affect Isla Vista, Study Hall employee Paul Tognetti said he feels it is in the same category as a 1998 law prohibiting smoking in enclosed workplaces.
“The mentality of these people, the ones imposing these laws, they honestly think that smoking is morally or ethically wrong,” he said. “That’s their whole justification, and they ram it down people. And when they pass these laws, who’s going to fight it? The non-smokers aren’t going to fight it, and they are the majority.”
Maria Prill, a sophomore biochemistry major, said she agreed with ordinance.
“At restaurants, second-hand smoke can be bothersome,” she said. “I don’t like having to breathe second-hand smoke while I’m eating. I had to tell my mom last week to not smoke near me while I ate. I work at a retail store, and customers complain about employees smoking right outside our entrance.”
Junior sociology and Asian-American studies major Nelson Tran said the ordinance is an infringement on smokers’ rights.
“Where the fuck am I supposed to smoke at?” he said. “Unless they’re carrying a measuring stick, I’m gonna keep on doing what I’m doing.”