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SAN DIEGO COUNTY DIGEST

San Diego : Tough County Smoking Ban Sent for Study

November 25, 1987|RALPH FRAMMOLINO

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to refer what could be one of the most restrictive anti-smoking legislative packages in the country to the county staff for study.

The vote came after 90 minutes of public debate over the nonsmoking package, which would prohibit smoking in public places in unincorporated areas.

Proposed by Supervisor Leon Williams, the proposed ordinance would force restaurants, bars and places of employment to ban smoking unless they segregated smokers and nonsmokers in separate rooms with separate ventilation systems. Smoking would also be banned in outdoor areas such as stadiums and cafes.

Williams has also proposed that the county itself toughen up its nonsmoking policy, which allows county employees to light up in their own private offices or in separate smoking areas. The proposed change would ban smoking within any county building.

Supervisor George Bailey said he was opposed to the stricter non-smoking measures and asked why the county doesn't actively enforce its current policy. "I think we've got an overkill here and it will result in a backlash," Bailey said.

In referring the matter for study, the supervisors told staff to confer with groups that would have an interest in the changes--such as the San Diego Restaurant Assn. and small-business representatives, as well as the American Lung Assn.

Staff members said they will report back to the board within 30 days on the smoking policy and within 60 days on the ordinance. Staff members were told to include in their reports how much it would cost the county to enforce Williams' proposals, if approved.

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