For the third City Council meeting in a row, I . I have been working feverishly behind the scenes to make this happen. I have been working with a number of agencies to help including:
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- American Cancer Society
- Santee Collaborative
- Santee Solutions Coalition
I've also spoken to the , , County Supervisor Dianne Jacob's office, State 's office and 's office.
I have joined the County of San Diego's Building Better Health In East County committee (Facebook page).
I have created a Facebook Page for people to join and show support. It's called Smoke Free Santee. Here is a link to the page: www.facebook.com/pages/Smoke-Free-Santee/309463949102071
You may see me at one of our city parks this weekend getting people to sign a petition! I want to get as many signatures as possible and present them at a future City Council meeting.
Here is the text of my speech that was read at last night's meeting:
The law evolves as we learn. It always has. I understand the smoking ban is a slippery slope problem for many of you. Today it’s smoking and drinking at the park….and then what next? I don’t know where we draw the line but I do know it’s not at this issue.
I don’t understand how an ordinance can be intrusive when it results in cleaner air, a safer environment, and lives lengthened or possibly saved.
I took a philosophy course in school and I learned there were two versions of morality. One of them is called utilitarianism. That means the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Clearly a smoking ban is the greatest good serving the greatest number of people and thus is morally the right thing to do.
A smoking ban— would have many positive effects for our city:
Marijuana smoking is an issue in the community, including at our parks. Currently a deputy sheriff driving by may not notice someone smoking a joint as opposed to a cigarette because smoking is allowed. Naturally it wouldn’t stand out. A smoking ban would virtually eliminate this issue.
The same can be said for underage smoking. Teenagers running off to the park to smoke because they can blend in would no longer be able to do that if there was a smoking ban.
Cigarette Butts littering our parks would be drastically reduced if not eliminated.
With the always high risk of wildfire here in San Diego County, a careless smoker—especially one who has legally had a few drinks at our city parks—could ignite a fire with the careless disposal of a cigarette. That risk would effectively
be removed by a smoking ban.
You might actually help reduce childhood obesity with a smoking ban. Aside from the electronic age, part of the reason children don’t go outside to play as much as
when we grew up is because of parent concerns about safety. It seems reasonable to me to believe that some parents don’t let their children go to our city parks unaccompanied in part because they know that smoking and drinking are allowed there. Some parents may choose not to even bring their children to city parks because of this. I am not suggesting this is an overwhelming number. But any number is too high for me to accept when there is such a simple solution.
More importantly you all could be responsible for saving lives. The elimination of second hand smoke clearly is a part of this for both adults and children. However, let’s not forget the prevention aspect of this either. Children playing at the park and not being exposed to smoking are less likely to develop an interest or even be curious about it thus perhaps never making that decision to start smoking.
As for adults who do smoke many will agree that it is an addiction and not a leisure that they enjoy. If by eliminating another venue for that adult to smoke it helps get them to quit... that’s wonderful. Even if they don’t quit—if their lives are extended by a matter of days or weeks because of a few less cigarettes…then you are not only the members of the City Council… you are heroes.