LB Council considers legislation to prohibit smoking at bus stops, farmers’ markets

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cigarette-buttLong Beach City Council Member Robert Garcia, representing the First District, has introduced his first two pieces of legislation, with colleague Suja Lowenthal of the Second District, to ban smoking at city bus stops as well as public farmers’ markets. The proposed ordinances, scheduled to be on the Council agenda June 9, would also prohibit smoking within 20 feet of bus stops and within 20 feet of entrances and exits to farmers’ markets.

“These are important, common sense measures to protect the health and quality of life for all residents, particularly those who have no other means of transportation,” Councilman Garcia stated. “It is unacceptable that our children are often subjected to cancer-causing smoke while waiting for a school bus.”

Councilmember Lowenthal noted that, “Bus stops and outdoor markets are fixed locations, limiting one’s choice to move away from a nuisance,” and added, “Residents should have the right to gather in public places without compromising their health and well-being”.

Second-hand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States every year, and particularly affects young children and older adults, whose lungs and hearts are more sensitive to the dangerous chemicals present in tobacco smoke.

Officials at Long Beach Transit have expressed support for the measure. Other California cities, including Los Angeles, Glendale, Oakland and Pasadena, have enacted similar ordinances.

“I am not anti-smoker,” Councilman Garcia emphasized. “People have a right to smoke, as long as their smoke is not endangering the health of others. Long Beach residents have the right to breathe the cleanest air possible.”

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