Palo Alto Considers Tough Public Smoking Ban

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PALO ALTO (KCBS) – The Palo Alto City Council Monday night voted for a possible ban on smoking at all public parks and plazas.

The council voted 7-1 to direct staff to draft a proposed smoking ordinance that would then be placed on the consent calendar for a future City Council meeting.

“I think it would be fabulous to have Palo Alto as a smoke-free park city,” declared councilwoman Liz Kniss. “Wouldn’t that be great? We could put it on our letterhead.”

“The thought that kids can go to a park and not have to worry about the smoke or worry about tripping over whatever is left from the smoker’s debris left behind is so important,” she added.

One resident who spoke during the public comment period, however, questioned whether smokers were being unfairly targeted.

“There should be some place, some little teeny place where they could smoke,” the woman suggested.

Mayor Greg Scharff first floated the idea of a smoking ban in his February State of the City speech.

The proposed ban being drafted by city staff would apply to 24 parks and plazas in Palo Alto, all 5 acres or smaller.

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