At its goal setting meeting on January 15, I understand the SLO City Council will consider an ordinance that will eliminate tobacco use in outdoor areas and at events. We’ve all heard about the dangers of secondhand smoke, especially to young children. Now studies find that third-hand smoke, toxic chemicals in tobacco that remain on surfaces long after the smoke has cleared, is also harmful. Think about small children in a park putting their hands on benches where people have smoked and then putting those same hands in their mouths. There is potential that they may ingest those chemicals, not to mention the tobacco litter (butts) they may pick up.
I urge the council to pass a strong tobacco-free outdoor/event ordinance that will protect adults and more importantly the children in our community. The city was a national leader when it passed the first smoke-free-workplace law in 1990. Please lead the way again by making outdoor areas clean, safe, and healthy for SLO residents.