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May 20, 2015


Been here forever

This council is a joke. Just a joke. They are the least involved or educated of any council I can recall. Let's change it up
and get some folks in there who are really proactive and take the job seriously and are not just in it for the lifetime health benefits. They've gotten them now, so let's oust them. Long overdue.


Geez how about all the fumes we will be smelling from increased traffic at a standstill because of all the high density housing all up and down the Peninsula?? Should we not be concerned about that?

Sorry but I think we have more pressing issues to worry about!

Peter Garrison

Stinky and loud. At least tabacco quietly kills you.

Not Bruce Dickinson

Whether or not to smoke is a personal decision and the City Council should only consider regulating this in public places.

I'm certain they thought they saved the planet with the ban on some plastic bags (and requiring stores to charge a 25-cent fee now for a paper bag). Yet the dry-cleaners still wrap shirts in plastic and the grocery stores allow you to put fruit and vegetables in plastic. And instead of our using plastic grocery bags for trash, we are now having to buy trash bags!

If they are able to regulate what someone does in the privacy of their own residence, where will that end?

Will Burlingame's wise "elders" stick their collective nose further into citizen's business?
Maybe they can outlaw items in the grocery store which might cause obesity? Let's regulate fat and sugar! How about a ban on certain soft drinks deemed unhealthy by fitness gurus?
Let's ban our grocers from selling anything other than organic produce!

If they want to help save the planet, why not have convenient receptacles around town for items such as dead batteries? How about a convenient place to turn in old light tubes? CFLs?


I may be uninformed on this but I can't understand how they can ban a legal activity in a private home. The smoking ban in restaurants and offices was pushed through on a worker rights theory. What is the theory here? Are they just setting us up for future legal fees? If an apartment building owner wanted to make his building non-smoking that would be their decision. What am I missing?


The public comments on this issue (if I recall correctly) had to do with "wafting" of smoke and that it permeates the "clean" air in the multi-units via hallways and open windows. Some commented about smoke from those using their patios. Not sure where the line will be drawn. We have a collection of cigarette smokers as neighbors on various sides of our property. Mornings in particular, I can smell smoke when I go outside, and am not crazy about it, either.

Should I expect them to limit their smoking to indoors so that I can enjoy my outdoor space? That's doubtful. I realize concentrated smoke indoors is going to want to go elsewhere through osmosis. On the other hand, I can understand not wanting the wafting of smoke on the sidewalk if I'm dining at an outdoor restaurant. Burlingame meals are too costly to have a tinge of nicotine in each bite.

What about a crackdown on people tossing their cigarette butts (and other garbage) all over the place and out car windows. This is NOT Europe, people. That is disgusting....This will be an interesting discussion, for sure.


And speaking of trash and dumping why is it San Mateo County does not have $1,000 fine signage along 101 regarding trash?

You see these signs in Sonoma, Marin and several other counties but why not in San Mateo?

The Peninsula has become a dump with all the trash!


Nagel's next plan will be to require that smokers eat their cigarette butts. The only legal smoking in apartments and on the street will be pot.


The city should lease the old post office lawn for the new smoking section. Happy hour at 4:20 every day.


I do not smoke, and being a smoker that quit in 1980, I understand the effort that is put into quitting.
Smoking outside a multi unit building effects the people who like fresh air and keep open windows.
I can smell people smoking in their cars at stop signs and just driving past me.


I agree with you Holly-- nasty habit and nasty smell. It's just how on earth can any of this be monitored or enforced. It's far more challenging than the off leash rules in the Park, than catching those who litter, or drive recklessly, etc. etc. It also seems to me that smoking around here is on the uptick, rather than downtick. Maybe I'm mistaken, but that is my impression.

As I said, this is going to be really interesting.


If the city council wants to really improve the environment on burlingame avenue they should outlaw yoga pants for anyone with a BMI higher than 25. That would improve the environment by a ton. Ha!


Jennifer, I think you are on to something. The 20 something coders who fill the restaurants at lunch and get on the bus back to the city at night are smoking at a higher rate than most of the locals as far as I can tell. And you are also correct that enforcement will be an impossibility. If I had to decide on how to spend limited police resources, I would tell BPD to step up patrolling El Camino since the CHP is non-existent there and the speeding has been speeding up.

Bruce Dickinson

Guys, I gotta tell ya, dynamite observations. Joe and a couple of others hit on what Bruce Dickinson sees in all this, is that we have got what appears to be a classic case of "where there is smoke, there is NO fire".

What do I mean by this? As Joe stated, there are a dozen significantly more pressing issues that Burlingame's government needs to address, issues that I believe, quite frankly, are not being dealt with head-on, yes, quite pathetically actually. It is also notable that this is an election year, where many of the core issues mentioned by Joe will need to be addressed. But, now we have something that we can take a lot of time debating, that is a smoking “issue", public nuisances, property and privacy rights. I'd be willing to wager that this issue is going to take a disproportionate amount of time, and be a diversion of sorts away from the real "fires" that actually need to be put out and now can conveniently be diverted with a "look, here, I'm dealing with a smoking issue...smoking is baaaaaad, it's bad for your health, its bad for the babies, it smells, a lot of people don't like it, we're concerned about your health and safety, but we're also cognizant of the addicts who need plenty of lead time, that's how nice we are. Concerned, balanced government looking out for you."

Well, since we're into giving advance warnings, let me so reciprocate. And my warning is this: City Council incumbents, you are DONE with Burlingame City government come election time. For one seat in particular, Bruce Dickinson will enjoy seeing be replaced and from what I hear from my sources, I’m one of many, not one of few. More on this at a future juncture in time.

Now on to what everyone who is not Bruce Dickinson (don't worry little fella, I give the probability of anyone mixing you up with *the cock of the walk* pretty much zero) is anxiously awaiting, namely, my opinion.

I'm with Jen and Holly-baby. I don't smoke (I once did many moons ago), don't like the smell of it, I don't think it should be on the sidewalks and in outdoor restaurants, or in public housing complexes, but I gotta tell ya, I do indulge on occasion with a fine cigaro Cubano (from my importer) and I also own a pipe with an assortment of splendid tobaccos. Maybe I do 5-10 cigar or pipe “smokes” a year, usually with my friends and always with a glass of fine Dalmore or MacCallan. In no way should the city allow a law to effectively put the smoke shop on Burlingame Ave out of business. The tobacco smell coming out of there is wonderful and gives Burlingame a dynamite, old-school character. OverpProtectant Burlingame moms worried about their babies inhaling 2nd hand smoke can cross the street, as it is only one store and can be walked around.

So while I think it’s the right thing to do, why is the timing of this smoking ban now and with so much fanfare? Seems like a feel-good ordinance that can take some time to debate but ultimately will be distractive and will pass. The time to do the pile-on was when other cities/counties started the ban, so I question the genuineness of motivations and timing, if you will. The comments and way they present the issue, including the "ample lead time for addicts", is just a little off key. I may be wrong, but remember, betting against Bruce Dickinson tends to be a loser’s game!

overview of other smoking control laws

Here's a good overview of other smoking control laws in the United States:



How very interesting Eric Story is. I just watched the video debate and he wants to protect the private property rights of smokers in apartments (to smoke) but doesn't want to protect the private property rights of landlords to charge what the market will bear. My my my. How very interesting.

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