La Mesa City Council works toward citywide smoking ban

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LA MESA, Calif. -- La Mesa City Council took a step toward banning smoking of any kind in public places Monday evening.

The idea was introduced by council members Akilah Weber and Kristine Alessio, but others said the ordinance needs to be worked on and clarified.

The City of La Mesa banned smoking in public parks in 2006, but more than a decade later, Weber and Alessio looked to strengthen city code.

The amendment would prohibit smoking or vaping of any kind in public places or the workplace except for specifically designated areas. The restrictions would apply to city streets, sidewalks and any place publicly or privately owned and open to the general public like hotel rooms, bars and restaurants.

Community members who spoke out at Monday's meeting were in favor of the changes. However, some council members felt the ordinance was written vaguely and needed clarifications on exceptions for bars and places like a cigar lounge.

The council ultimately voted unanimously to create a subcommittee to iron out the details on a smoking ban for the city before passing anything official. The council will revisit the smoking ban on Jan. 14.

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