“It’s like a constant subway ashtray all the way down Fifth Avenue and all around the area,” said downtown resident Raymond Vinole, speaking before the San Diego City Council on May 11. “No matter where I go, I feel like I’m in the middle of an ashtray.”
Vinole, who works downtown and lives in a condominium on Fifth and Island, voiced his concern regarding outdoor smoking at downtown restaurants, bars, and cafés. “The impact of smoking has gotten worse and worse in downtown,” he said.
Aside from health concerns from exposure to cigarette smoke and feeling like he lives around an ashtray, Vinole said that his neighborhood — in the Gaslamp District — is littered with cigarette butts especially on weekends.
“The aftermath that you see on a Sunday morning is really bad. I can probably pick up a thousand [cigarette] butts on the streets, sidewalks, and outdoor cafés,” he said. He suggested that the council consider implementing smoke-free policies, similar to those in Beverly Hills and other L.A. County cities.