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November 16, 2010 > County adopts two of three tobacco ordinances

County adopts two of three tobacco ordinances

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Laurel Anderson

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors have given unanimous, final approval for two of three new ordinances for tobacco control that will ban smoking inside multi-unit residences and strengthen other protections against second-hand smoke. The comprehensive measures, Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance, and the Multi-Unit Residences Ordinance make Santa Clara County one of the most aggressive jurisdictions in the nation in preventing youth tobacco use and protecting residents from second-hand smoke.

The Tobacco Retailer Permit Ordinance, requiring licensing of tobacco retailers, will be presented to the Board for its second reading and final approval on November 23, which will enable staff to conduct additional outreach to retailers in the unincorporated areas.

"The residents of this county deserve strong policies to safeguard their health," said President Ken Yeager, who brought the ordinance to the Board of Supervisors. "These ordinances make Santa Clara County a national leader in blocking tobacco sales to minors and protecting residents from second-hand smoke."

Under the measure, smoking is banned at the County Fairgrounds and at all County parks. More protections against second-hand smoke in workplaces in the unincorporated areas of the County will also be put in place. Smoking is prohibited in, and within 30 feet of, any outdoor service area, such as a ticket line or the outdoor portion of a restaurant, in the unincorporated areas. Additionally, motels and hotels in unincorporated areas will become entirely smoke-free facilities.

The Multi-Unit Residences Ordinance bans smoking in the common areas of all multi-unit residences in the unincorporated areas. Furthermore, the ordinance will ban smoking in all units of apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. The ordinance allows for setting up designated smoking areas for multi-unit residences provided that they are in unenclosed areas that are at least 30 feet away from operable doors, windows, and other openings into enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

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