I am a Westside Santa Barbara homeowner, psychologist and educator, and mother to a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old. I urge the city to improve the current regulations on outdoor smoking in public places immediately.
I do my best to provide my little ones with a safe and healthy environment, feed them nutritious and organic foods, and try to keep them safe. As a family, we enjoy taking walks together, along the beaches and on State Street. It is really disheartening and concerning that I cannot protect them from breathing in harmful toxins when people are smoking in public. It is so unpleasant, and all the scientific evidence unequivocally demonstrates the harmful effects of second- and third-hand smoke.
I am proud to live in Santa Barbara, known as a progressive, healthy, safe place to raise a family. I am hopeful that the city will continue to improve regulations and make our hometown even better. Certainly, the rights of families to be free from detrimental health effects is more important than an individual’s desire to smoke cigarettes. Secondhand smoke affects so many people walking by (with no way to avoid it). Further, cigarette butts are a source of pollution and are unsightly.
Other cities who have adopted measures restricting public outdoor smoking have found that their policies have been well received and appreciated. I am hopeful that our beautiful city follows suit.