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By Miriam Raftery
May 26, 2019 (Santee) – Lighting up a cigarette, cigar, or vaping device is now illegal in Santee parks, making the city the last in the region to outlaw smoking in public parks.  Council smoked out an exception, however, for designated smoking sections at special events  at Town Center Community Park, including summer concerts and the city’s annual Santee Salutes Fourth of July festivities, as well as Fido Fest.

The City Council voted 3-2 for the ban.  Councilmembers Stephen Houlahan and Laura Koval voted no, but only because they supported an even stronger ban on smoking all of the time in city parks, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The move comes after the city banned smoking on hiking trails, but stopped short of a ban in parks. But after public pressure, the Council opted to restricting smoking in parks, too.
Councilman Ron McNelis proposed an area near the parking lot, where smokers already congregate, to avoid criminalizing those who want to smoke during a major event.
Communities Against Substance Abuse, Santee Solutions and others had advocated for a total ban, arguing that smoke cannot be contained in an outdoor venue, thus exposing others to health dangers from second-hand smoke.
Jean Duffy with Santee Solutions told Fox 5, “It’s a step in the right direction, a good step, but this could’ve been a more comprehensive ban.”

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:-/ cough!

In my opinion, smoking bans do not work. I'm for them, but they are seemingly very difficult to enforce, and many smokers will defy them anyway, while asserting their 'right to smoke'. Witness El Cajon. A city-wide ban on smoking in public when people are around was enacted years ago, yet smokers light up nearly everywhere with apparent impunity. No consideration given for non smokers, adults and children alike. Police are apparently unwilling to issue a verbal warning, or write a ticket, even during public outdoor events where there are large crowds of people. Walk into any business and the first thing one sees is cigarette butts on the ground, and often a smoker or more will be hanging out in front of the establishment puffing away, 'sharing' their beloved, toxic smoke with every passerby. Additionally, there are few 'No Smoking' signs posted at store fronts as required by the El Cajon municipal code, as is store owners are supposed to help enforce the law by asking smokers to stop. Complaints to city officials are ignored. Yeah, smoking bans are a joke!

Smoking, an American history

I have been smoking all my life and now live on bonus time Gramps. American tradition goes way back to native Indians, Europeans, Africans etc. and you blowhards "no smoking under most and any conditions" stinks worse than smoke. I am a "no bleeding heart senior" that still believes there are pleasures and rights for all. Blow your smoke somewhere else.