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Encinitas takes first steps toward smoking ban in public areas

ENCINITAS — City staff will discover a smoking ban in Encinitas, with the potential for future public safety ordinances to come out of the city’s Environmental Commission. 

The Encinitas City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 21, with Councilmember Kellie Hinze absent, to provoke a code amendment that would ban smoking of all tobacco products in public areas. 

The potential repercussions of violating the potential Encinitas Municipal Code change could be a charge or different civil violation. 

The motion additionally included exploring the legality of increasing the ban to shifting automobiles in the public right of method. 

The move comes from an Environmental Commission suggestion in efforts to determine and develop strategies to regulate plastic pollution sources — as famous in its work plan targets. 

Several audio system from organizations, such as Clean Earth 4 Kids, American Cancer Society, Surfrider Foundation and others got here out in favor of a code change. The council additionally obtained a number of letters from metropolis residents in support. 

Jim Wang, a former environmental commissioner, was certainly one of a number of advocating for a change within the city. 

“We all know that smoking is not any good,” Wang mentioned, encouraged by the current commissioner’s work. “[Cigarette filters] are small and they’re loaded with these toxins which would possibly be so bad that the cigarette corporations don’t even need us to inhale them.” 

Wang said that there was no proper approach to get rid of cigarettes and called on the council to take away exceptions within the staff’s ordinance drafting. The movement included growth of a policy change that would get rid of smoking tobacco in public areas, but leaves out smoking in moving automobiles and private places. 

“No matter the way you dispose of that cigarette butt, it’s going to go to the landfill, at finest,” he said, adding… “but everything results in the ocean.”

In introducing a possible ordinance, Commissioner Mark O’Connor said that cigarette butts make up a big share of the trash collected in coastal cleanups. 

More than 35,000 cigarette filters were pickup through the 2020 Coastal Clean Up Day, O’Connor mentioned.  The Surfrider Foundation reported accumulating greater than 52,700 filters between January 2019 and March 2020 alongside various beaches in San Diego County. 

Enacting a smoking ban, following suit of 26 other cities within the state, would reduce back air pollution in the city and for marine environments. 

In its report back to the City Council, the Environmental Commission said that filters are made up of 15,000 microplastics, which “are nearly all over the place polluting the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe.” 

O’Connor informed the council that cigarette butts are “pollution that could be very simple for us to search out,” adding that photos of the filters round town proven during the presentation were unstaged. 

O’Connor added that solely 9% of the state’s inhabitants smokes, yet the remnants of their habits rely for 38% % of the trash collected throughout cleanups. 

Thirty-five 12 months resident Nancy Logan, a representative of San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth, said that youngsters should live in a drug/alcohol environment to “develop to most potential.” 

Logan and different residents referred to as on the city to go further, even eliminating the exceptions to vehicles and private areas. 

“It’s exceptional that we ever normalized such in depth littering of plastic products within the public proper of method,” stated Mayor Catherine Blakespear. 

City employees may also be looking to the legality of removing the transferring vehicle expiation from the smoking ban. 

Deputy Mayor Joe Mosca additionally moved to direct the Environmental Commission to discover personal property and cigarette butt bans for future consideration. 

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