As part of the upcoming election, voters in Sonoma, Calif. will be asked to consider Measure W, which seeks to drastically expand the city’s existing smoking ban.
When they receive their ballot, voters will be presented with the following question:
“In order to more comprehensively protect the health and safety of the citizens of Sonoma, shall an ordinance be adopted that amends the City’s existing 1992 smoking ordinance to include more restrictions by prohibiting smoking in public places, multi-unit residences, hotels and motels, enclosed common areas, enclosed dining areas, outdoor recreational areas and parks, outdoor public places, outdoor dining areas, and within 25 feet of any area where smoking is prohibited?”
If voters approve the measure, it would go into effect immediately upon certification of the election, since the measure is considered a revision to the current voter-approved ban. It would leave just a handful of places to smoke in the city, including private vehicles, single-family dwellings and an as-yet-to-be announced group of designated smoking areas. Owners of multi-unit residential complexes would be allowed to create small, designated smoking areas should they choose to do so.
The current ban allows employers to create smoking areas for employees, while also allowing smoking in bars, in up to 70% of a hotel or motel’s rooms, as well as in spaces used for private functions. Additionally, private enclosed spaces used exclusively by smokers–i.e. retail tobacco stores and lounges–were permitted.
There is also no protection for residents of multi-family buildings from second hand smoke, which is one of the main drivers of the proposed revisions to the ban.
Sonoma has a population of approximately 11,000 people and is located 45 miles north of San Francisco.