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Berkeley to Ban Smoking Outside

The notorious Berkeley City Council has been busy. Last night, it moved forward a ban on smoking outside! People caught lighting up on commercially zoned sidewalks will face a $100 fine.

One Berkeley smoker told a local news station:

Out on the sidewalk, you're sucking up more exhaust walking on this street than cigarette smoke. So do we want to go to all electric cars? It's like how invasive is the city of Berkeley going to get into my life?

Really Berkeley, banning smoking outside? I wouldn't be surprised if Berkeley soon outlaws cigarettes all together. Is this law taking the rights of nonsmokers too far? Will more people quit? I wonder how the fine will be imposed on all the homeless people in Berkeley, many of whom smoke on the downtown sidewalks.

On the other side of the country, New York City's crackdown on smoking may have had an unexpected result. The city has gained 10 million pounds since it cut back the right to smoke.

Some call Berkeley's sidewalk ban a free way to improve air quality and lung health, but is there a price to freedom?


Join The Conversation
Tom_Paris Tom_Paris 9 years
A good thing! We've been stupid for too long now! Check out this old advertising for cigarettes and see for yourself!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Berkeley = :ROTFL:
janneth janneth 9 years
Berserkly. A bunch of jerklies.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Just an interesting side note on this issue. Partial and all out banning of smoking in designated areas has been discussed in legislative halls across the country for the past thirty years in light of its health and medical cost implications. However, our beloved legislators found themselves in a catch 22. They liked the money they got from taxing cigarettes and as long as it was still acceptable tax tax away they did. Then as time marched on came the class action law suits and the health scares intensified. The mood of the masses began to change and so did the view points of the legislatures. We've got a long way to go before the scale is completely tipped but over the next ten years you will see the same thing happening in cities around the country just like here in Berkeley.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
It's got what plants crave!
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
and besides, how are they going to impose fines on homeless people? f-in Berkeley, so f-in dumb.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i'm not a smoker, and i think it's a disgusting habit, but boy, if i ever want to live in an area where i have no personal freedoms, i'm moving to Berkeley. when did they become such fascists?
CurvatudeBlog CurvatudeBlog 9 years
as a non smoker i am down for any laws that result in me not having to breathe in their smoke.. smokers are some of the most inconsiderate beings on the planet.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Its got electrolytes!
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Give me some Brawndo and I'll take care of Berkeley.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
honestly, it disappointed me. I'm not a daytime smoker at all, not even a regular smoker. but when my girlfriends and I went out, we'd look forward to chain-smoking a pack, and being filthy just for the fun of it. no one picks on you for smoking if you have beer in your other hand. Almost coincidentally, our bad-girl days wound down, and people started getting married and buying condos.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
I'm all for people being banned from smoking in door ways. There is nothing worse than walking out of a building and inhaling a cloud of smoke. It's just inconsiderate of other people. I have allergies and the smoke just kills me.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
As a social smoker that lives here it doesn't effect me much but I can see how it's going to be problem for employees of businesses who won't have any where to go for a smoke break. This really should have been a ballot measure, but ironically enough most of the business owners in the area effected by the ban support it even if it means putting off some business.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"No one knows what to do with their hands during conversational lulls." :ROTFL: KrisSugar--good one!
ALSW ALSW 9 years
I'm all for getting people to stop smoking, but this is ridiculous.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
They banned smoking in bars in my city. So now, instead of smelling like fresh smoke, the bars smell like years worth of stale smoke that have permeated the interiors. My dive bars are just cold and smell like and old ladie's house now. No one knows what to do with their hands during conversational lulls.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Really. I don't even smoke and I'm offended.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
This just proves that fascism knows no party boundaries. Cabaker, I'll come. I want a steak-and-bacon-burger!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I am! I am!!!!! Cabaker, I may actually buy a leather coat for the occasion! Why do people not want freedom? I am confused. But if the people of Berkley don't want fascism, then they better vote some different leaders into office.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
As long as they let me walk around naked, I don't care what they do.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
This makes me wanna put on an Uncle Sam hat, my USMC tshirt, and grab some smokes (even though I don't smoke) and have a BBQ on the sidewalks of Berkeley, I'm thinking thick cut steaks, burgers, and bacon from the nicest pigs.... Maybe we can litter to top it off! Who's with me??? ;)
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
colleen, if you get a fine, you can make their heads spin by sending in a rubber check! is it recyclable??? they'll worry.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Ah! Something on the home court. I do live in dwntwn Berkeley and just to clarify the ban is not city wide it only covers the down town commercial districts public spaces.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Gotta love that Berkeley fascism!
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Ah Berkley, can't stand to be out of the limelight for a moment, can you?
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