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Anti-smoking measure comes before council

ORLAND — After several lengthy discussions, the Orland City Council is getting ready for its third “first read” of a new ordinance that would put limits on where people could smoke in public.

The topic has been up for discussion five times since October, after students involved in the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) group brought forward a petition about smoking and the suggestion for rules similar to those some other cities have adopted.

Over several meetings, councilors have heard from the public and some people have voiced concerns about new regulations, whether people at work could find places to smoke, whether police have time to enforce new rules, and whether business owners would be faced with approaching people.

Each discussion has included changes to the proposed rules.

At the last meeting in December, new Mayor Wade Elliott and Councilor Bruce Roundy seemed to be in favor of the latest write-up, which will be discussed Tuesday night.

As it looks now, people would be prohibited from smoking within 20 feet of the main entry way of businesses in Orland. Back doors would be OK.

Smoking would also be limited in playgrounds, sporting fields and picnic areas in local parks.There would also not be smoking in outdoor cafes.

The city would put up signs where smoking is allowed and business owners could put up signs only if that’s what they wished. The fines would be $25 to $100, enforced by local law enforcement.

Students from

the high school who are members of the SWAT group have stated in several different ways that this is a public health issue.

Sharon Lazorko, Glenn County Public Health coordinator, has been working with the students on the project, and attending the public meetings since October.

Ordinances are easier to pass when they originate from the city, and this one has gone through many changes as concerns have been raised by the public, she noted.

“The students have been very courageous and engaged. They have not given up,” she said.

While many cities have adopted rules for public smoking, it is often more difficult in rural areas because there is a “resistance to government intrusion,” Lazorko said. Yet, this is a public health issue, she said.

The first reading is scheduled for Tuesday. If there are no additional changes, the second meeting and a vote could take place in late January.

Staff writer Heather Hacking can be reached at 896-7758 or

Public meeting

The Orland City Council

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Carnegie Hall

912 Third St

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