A survey of the California Department of Health Services and the American Lung Association of California showed that 86% of Californians are non-smokers. Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 38,000 deaths among non-smokers each year in the United States, which includes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 35,000 deaths due to heart disease. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogen. Fortunately, the State has passed laws in recent years designed to better protect the non-smoking public. Indoor smoking has been prohibited in most enclosed places of employment since Assembly Bill 3037 became effective on January 1, 1998, and smoking within 20 feet of main entrances, exits, and operable windows of government buildings has been prohibited since Assembly Bill 846 went into effect on January 1, 2004.
The Martinez City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1352 C.S. on May 6, 2009 (click here to view ordinance), to offer additional protections to the non-smoking public by regulating secondhand smoke in and around public places, such as City businesses (including bars and restaurants). The new regulation, which went into effect on June 6, 2009, does not permit smoking within 20 feet of doors, windows, vents and air ducts of public places. Additionally, the new law does not allow smoking in City parks, public plazas, farmers’ markets, and services areas (such as ATM’s, bus shelters, and the Amtrak Station). If you’re a business and need additional non-smoking signage, please call 372-3549 to make a request, or click here to print out your own signs.
Secondhand smoke restrictions in multi-family residences, such as apartment buildings or condominiums with 4 or more units, will go into effect on June 1, 2010. The multi-family provisions limit smoking to inside a residence (so long as the unit is not designated as non-smoking), or in an outdoor smoking area if designated by the landlord. Smoking on balconies, porches, patios, carports, or similar “private outdoor spaces” of a multi-family residence will not be permitted in order to prevent such smoke from infringing upon another resident.