New smoking rules may be rolled out in Santa Barbara

Many new areas could be off limits

Smoking rules could be toughened in...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - New smoking rules may soon be rolled out in Santa Barbara.

The City Council will consider a variety of options Tuesday that could have far-reaching impacts.

They include a possible ban on smoking in parks, parking lots, beaches, Stearns Wharf, library walkways, trails and other locations including downtown on State Street.  Outside cafe dining areas would be exempted.

Other smoking ordinances in cities including Carpinteria, Pasadena, and Santa Monica were reviewed by staff members before the latest version of the plan was put together.  It will give city leaders many options in the areas of enforcement and how strict to make the rules.

In Carpinteria, nearly the entire city is off limit to smoking.  One approved spot is on a dirt outpost off Bailard Avenue, well beyond the core residential and downtown areas.

Law enforcement would have to enforce the smoking rules with citations.

Smoke-free locations nearby already on the books include Santa Barbara City College, UCSB, the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Paseo Nuevo shopping center.

Recently the American Lung Association gave Santa Barbara a "D" grade for its annual community health evaluation.

There's also a concern about cigarette butt litter, pollution, and environmental impacts to the ocean.

Restricting smoking within a certain distance from a building was also considered.  In Santa Barbara downtown however, a 25-foot range was issued as a standard in this case, would put someone into the street, in some instances.

If the plan is approved, there would be an education period before enforcement begins. That would also include signage and personal contact from Police, Community Service Officers, Harbor Patrol and Park Rangers. Some funding for this would not have to come from the city budget but could be paid for by the Santa Barbara County Health Department.

Voluntary compliance will be the first step, and businesses would be asked to help get the word out.

(More information and video will be added here later today.)

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