Claremont says thanks for not smoking

Tree City USA won’t be the only sign welcoming folks into Claremont. A new sign is being added to the city’s roadways in coming months with a clear message: Thank you for not smoking.

The Claremont City Council Tuesday night approved a resolution encouraging a smoke-free environment in Claremont. As part of the program—geared at educating others about the effects of smoking, not restricting the act itself—ten 12-by-16 inch signs will be added to key areas in the city. Sixty-four 4-by-6 inch signs will also be posted on existing light poles throughout the Claremont Village.

The resolution represented a fair compromise to the council, who has been split on passing rules on smoking in the past.

This is a compromise,” said Councilmember Sam Pedroza, in favor of the “smoke-free environment” concept. “It’s encouraging, it’s educational.”

The city will allot $2000 from the General Fund’s unassigned fund balance for signage and marketing. In addition, businesses will be able to obtain signs and table tents free of charge.

The proposed resolution encouraging a Smoke Free Environment comes nearly 4 years after Claremont established its first ordinance prohibiting smoking in certain areas of town. In October 28, the city council banned smoking in city parks. That ordinance was expanded in December 2010 to include the Plaza, located off Indian Hill Boulevard and First Street in front of the Laemmle Theater.

The resolution was brought forward as a compromise by the group Clean Air Claremont, of which several members were present to speak at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“This resolution is really not a radical idea,” said Maya Walker of the Coalition for Clean Air Claremont. “What we have today is really an encouragement…it’s voluntary. The signs are a clear example that the city of Claremont is indeed committed to protecting its citizens.”

A full report on Tuesday’s city council meeting will be published in Saturday’s courier.

—Beth Hartnett


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