El Cerrito sits in the San Francisco Bay area of California and home to over 23,000 residents. They are about to become known as having one of the toughest tobacco laws in the country that would ban smoking from public, residential and commercial areas.
On Tuesday, the city held the first reading of the Smoking Pollution Protection Ordinance at a meeting of the City Council. The law if passed in October will have one of the most comprehensive smoking regulations in the state.
It was all started by an F grade given by the American Cancer Society because the city did not have smoke-free outdoor areas and housing. Never mind the daily pollution that exists in much of California.
The city then drafted the new ordinance that will ban smoking from open and commercial spaces such as sidewalks, bus stops and where people publicly congregate. It will also ban smoking in multi-unit housing in both private and public areas. This would make all multi-unit housing 100% smoke free.
The El Cerrito Police Department will be primarily responsible for enforcing the would-be law with penalties up to $500 per violation.
There will be a second reading at their Oct. 7 meeting, and if adopted then, it will become effective on January 1, 2015.