The Tobacco Control Ordinance – which bans smoking within 20 feet of businesses, requires vendors to have tobacco licenses, and prohibits tobacco self-service displays in unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County – passed unanimously at the Nov. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting.
At the first hearing on Sept. 25, the ordinance also passed unanimously, but approval at the second hearing officially changed the county code in unincorporated areas, including Isla Vista.
Effective Dec. 20, smoking will be prohibited within 20 feet of any building or area where smoking is not allowed. Smoking in the outdoor sections of restaurants may take place, provided the smoke does not enter adjacent worksites or residences. The outdoor sections must be clearly marked and located the furthest distance from the restaurant entrance to minimize smoke in the restaurant.
It is unclear if the ordinance would allow smoking in the outdoor eating area in front of Java Jones, Sam’s to Go, Blenders and the I.V. Bakery, since that patio stretch is within 20 feet of the businesses’ entrances. However, the county health officer and citizen’s complaints will be its sole enforcement methods, according to Article VIII of the ordinance.
“I think it’s about 20 feet from [Java Jones’ entrance] to the sidewalk, so where would [smokers] go?” Java Jones employee Michelle Quea–o said.
At the Dec. 4 meeting, the board is scheduled to adopt a $30 fee for businesses that want tobacco licenses, in accordance with the requirements of the ordinance.
Tobacco retailers will not be permitted to sell tobacco on shelves or other self-service displays. All sales must be “vendor-assisted,” which means the seller will give the customer tobacco at their request. Cartons of cigarettes and other multi-container packages can be sold through self-service only if the products are under direct surveillance of a store employee.
Dawn Dunn, head of the county’s Tobacco Prevention Program, said they hope to provide “No smoking” signs in the near future and will also handle the distribution of tobacco licensing to businesses that will be affected by the new ordinance.