By Kristina Pritchett
City Council unanimously approved investigating the implementation a no smoking or vaping in public ordinance during the meeting on Tuesday, May 2.
Mayor Debra Lewis said she saw smoking in public as a quality of life issue and wanted city staff to investigate, advise and (where appropriate) quantify the risks and benefits of prohibiting smoking or vaping in public places.
Currently, the Dana Point Municipal Code bans smoking in public elevators; waiting rooms, public hallways and patients’ rooms of every private or public health care facility; within every room, chamber, place of meeting or public assembly; within any building or room not open to the sky, and in any establishment where food is being served to the general public.
Lewis said she has been in contact with city officials from Manhattan Beach and Laguna Beach where similar ordinances have been initiated. She added Laguna Beach is working on a similar ordinance and had surveyed its residents. Councilman Joe Muller said he would like to see that happen in Dana Point.
Muller and Councilman John Tomlinson voiced concerns over private property rights, but Lewis said this would only affect public property.
According to the staff report, part of the investigation will include a high level road map of how to implement the ordinance. A timeline was not set for when this could be completed.