By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Growing up with a father who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, Shirlee Zane said she knows first-hand the effects of second-hand smoke.
In an effort to clear the air, the Sonoma County supervisor wants to snuff out smoking on most county government property, including all 45 county parks.
The ban would extend outdoors, but would exempt the Sonoma County Fair and the Spud Point Marina, which have their own policies on tobacco use.
“It’s all about health and clean air,” is how she summed it up in a Twitter message she sent out Thursday.
Also included would be the animal shelter, Water Agency property and some fleet operations facilities.
“It needs to be a policy that affects all campuses and facilities,” she said Thursday. “With over 4,000 employees and 200 facilities, it would have a real positive effect.”
Zane is working with the county Department of Health Services on a draft ordinance that will be considered in June by the Board of Supervisors.
As one of the newest members of the board who took office last year, Zane said she immediately noticed the ashtrays outside the county office doors and people smoking there.
“I have a real reaction to cigarette smoke,” she said.
Growing up with a father who smoked, Zane said she developed allergies and constant ear infections as a result.
“I can’t tolerate it,” she said.
“Kids exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to have allergies and middle ear infections and of course respiratory diseases,” said Zane, who sits on the county’s Health Action Committee.
The group works with businesses and hospitals to implement healthy practices, including eating, exercise and preventative health care.
Bans on smoking — both indoors and outdoors — on institutional properties have become more common in recent years. The Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa medical complex is a smoke-free campus. So is Santa Rosa Junior College.
There is also proposed legislation to ban smoking in California state parks as a way to get cigarette butts off the beach, eliminate second-hand smoke and reduce the threat of wildfires.
The county ordinance is still being developed, but it is expected to provide for some limited designated smoking areas.
But Zane said employees who smoke will also be encouraged to take advantage of tobacco cessation programs.
Zane anticipates her fellow supervisors will get behind the anti-smoking ordinance.
“I’m sure they will be supportive,” she said of her colleagues, none of whom smokes.
Still to be determined, she said, is what potential punitive measures there would be for violators.