FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2008

 

Berkeley to Breath Easier
Anti-Smoking Effort Gets a Boost

Andronicos eliminates cigarette sales from stores, Alta Bates Medical Center prohibits smoking around its health facility and Berkeley gets an A from the American Lung Association

Berkeley, CA – The Berkeley City Council will take another step in the fight against smoking and smoking related illnesses at the March 25th Council Meeting.  Council will recognize city and community members who have made Berkeley a leader in creating smoke free environments, and will consider expanding the smoking restrictions it passed last November.

“Tobacco use is still Berkeley's number one killer and disproportionately affects people of color living in South and West Berkeley”, said Mayor Tom Bates. “Strong tobacco prevention and control policies will move us closer to developing a tobacco-free future for all Berkeleyans.”

At 7pm, Tuesday, March 25, the City Council will:

  • Thank Andronicos for eliminating cigarette sales from its local stores;
  • Recognize Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for expanding the smoke free environment surrounding the health facility;
  • Announce the recent announcement of the American Lung Association which recognized Berkeley’s strong tobacco prevention policies and awarded the City an A grade on its Smoke-Free Laws Report Card. The Association considered six different criteria and Berkeley is the only city in Alameda County to have received A’s in both secondhand smoke protections and youth access; and,
  • Consider expanding the no-smoking area defined in the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative. The City Council restricted smoking within 25’ of buildings open to the public, within 50’ of health facilities and senior centers, on 16 designated streets in commercial areas, and in all parks and recreation areas. The proposed ordinance would allow Council to expand the ban to sidewalks in all commercial zones in Berkeley.

# # #