Local News

Apr 7, 2010 1:42 AM by Monica Quintero

Stricter smoking rules in San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo City Council has voted four to one to revise a smoking ban ordinance. The city now joins more than 100 others in California that have adopted stricter rules banning smoking in outdoor recreation areas. Those areas were expanded to include streets, sidewalks, parking lots and parking garages but there are a couple of exceptions.

Smokers in San Luis Obispo will have fewer places to light up. But one place they will be allowed is "The Sanctuary," a tobacco shop downtown and not everyone's happy about it. Terry Treves, Fanny Wrappers owner, said, "I have endured over ten years of second hand smoke from "The Sanctuary." I have been at all extremes to try and have it stopped." Treves goes on to say, "I please encourage you to close this loophole. He does not sell the cigarette or cigar after it is lit. He sells it before and then they light it. Therefore, he's not losing business. I am losing business."

But the city council voted to grandfather "The Sanctuary" in the new smoking ban ordinance. Members voiced their concerns if they didn't, it would put the owner out of business. They did give a stipulation that business would be required to add a separate ventilation system within six months. Doug Shaw, The Sanctuary owner, said, "I hope you will allow myself and my customers to have a sanctuary because it will be the only place in town where you can smoke."

One other exemption for smokers, patio areas at bars. But it must be clearly marked that it's a designated smoking area. Tuesday night was the first reading of the ordinance. A second reading is required but that's typically a formality. It's expected to go into effect May 20th. The smoking ban also includes Mission Plaza, the adjacent creek walk from the plaza to Nipomo Street as well as all city dog parks.

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