LA MESA, Calif. — La Mesa is set to become a smoke-free city after a unanimous vote from city council Tuesday during a second reading of the ordinance, meant to strengthen existing city code.
The ordinance has been regularly supported by a handful of local residents who make it clear they want a cleaner and safer city.
“Secondhand smoke is increasing because of the vaping, marijuana and because of the other devices that people are using to smoke,” said Carol Green.
However, there have also been concerns from business owners and residents about the new restrictions, which will not allow for smoking of any kind in public places including streets and sidewalks.
“That small community needs to have a little bit of an advocate and maybe have a place to go if we make it a non-smoking town,” one speaker said during public comment.
Some exemptions to the ordinance allow for existing places like bars and restaurants to continue to operate if they already have designated smoking sections. However, any new business looking to move into town and offer a smoking section won’t be allowed to under the new ordinance.
The new rules on smoking will go into effect in 60 days.