LA MESA, Calif. -- La Mesa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban smoking citywide in public places.
The move by city council essentially strengthens existing city code to ban smoking of any kind, including vaping, in public areas including sidewalks and streets. Smoking was already previously banned in public parks.
There are some exemptions to the new ordinance allowing 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 area won’t be allowed to under the new rules.
"I really feel strongly that this ordinance makes a bold statement that smokers are not wanted in La Mesa," said Michelle Huey, an owner of Pete's Place.
There were mixed emotions from business owners and those that live in La Mesa about the new restrictions.
"We all want to be healthier and I would like to go to a restaurant and sit outside when we have this beautiful weather to enjoy and not have to inhale somebody's smoke," said Monica Zack.
Tuesday was the first reading of the ordinance. The new rules on smoking will go into effect 60 days after a second reading.