East County News Service
Photo: Creative Commons b S.A.
May 20, 2019 (Santee) – Santee is the last city in San Diego County to allow smoking in public parks. In January 2018, the City Council voted to make trails in Santee smoke-free, but didn’t commit to ban smoking in parks or open spaces. But after a workshop on municipal code updates at which residents and public health advocates asked for better protection from secondhand smoke, Council members asked staff in May to include smoke-free parks in a municipal code update.
The proposal will be heard by the City Council this Wednesday, May 22, at Santee City Hall (10601 North Magnolia Ave., Santee).
According to Communities Against Substance Abuse (CASA):
- 91% surveyed in Santee said smoke-free parks and recreation centers make healthier spaces for everyone
- 91% surveyed in Santee find smoke/vape are unhealthy for children playing in parks
- 77% of those surveyed in Santee support smoke-free parks in Santee
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke/vape are more likely to suffer from colds, ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia
- Approximately 41,000 nonsmoking adults die every year from secondhand smoke exposure in the United States
- Secondhand smoke has been identified as a Toxic Air Contaminant by the California Air Resource Board. This puts secondhand smoke in the same category as diesel exhaust, arsenic, and benzene
- Vape is not simply water vapor. E-cigarettes have at least 10 toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and
- Smoke-free open spaces help guard children and adults from second-hand tobacco exposure and harm. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.