WINDSOR -- As he smoked a cigarette and leaned against his shuttle van Tuesday afternoon in Windsor, Bobby Swaving said he understands why the Town Council may crack down on secondhand smoke.

"I respect people who don't smoke. If they want to make it (smoking) illegal, I understand," he said.

The council this evening is reviewing Windsor's smoking ordinance and will discuss restricting smoking in outdoor locations, including streets and sidewalks, and in ATM and bus lines.

At least two council members are willing to consider going further, perhaps banning smoking in apartments, condominiums and townhouses, part of a growing movement to prevent smoke from wafting into people's homes from adjacent units.

Mayor Warin Parker said he could support such a ban, similar to two California cities -- Belmont and Temecula -- that have passed laws restricting smoking inside multi-unit residential buildings.

"I want to bring it up for public discussion and get public input," Parker said of the smoking ordinance, which will be discussed at 6 p.m.

He said he doesn't want to take away people's right to smoke inside their own homes, but if it affects others in adjoining residences, he's willing to consider it.

"It's not my intent to go around restricting the rights of other people. But when individual rights impact collective rights, you have to take a look at it to see what's best for the community as a whole," he said.

Last year, Windsor passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking on the Town Green during community events such as concerts and plays.

At tonight's meeting, the council will consider whether smoking prohibitions should be extended to parks, as in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, and whether to prohibit it in outdoor workplaces such as construction sites.

Windsor's community services staff has suggested the council discuss restricting smoking around sports fields, on recreation trails and at shopping malls. The council could also restrict smoking near windows and entryways of buildings.

In California, smoking is banned in most indoor workplaces, within 20 feet of government buildings and within 25 feet of playgrounds and sandboxes. But cities have passed restrictions that go further. Last year, Calabasas, one of the more extreme examples, became the first municipality to ban smoking on streets and sidewalks.

At tonight's meeting, Windsor council members will not pass any new ordinances to restrict smoking. That would come at a future council meeting, depending on whether there is a consensus to clamp down on secondhand smoke.

Councilman Steve Allen expressed an openness to banning smoking inside multi-unit developments. But he also expressed resistance to the concept.

"I struggle with the whole 'big government as your nanny,' " Allen said.

"I can understand the idea behind it," he said of imposing a smoking ban inside apartments and condos. "For people who have breathing problems, the impacts are pretty harsh."

But Councilwoman Debora Fudge was against keeping people from smoking inside their own apartments.

"I grew up in a family of smokers. They've all since quit," she said. "As much as I hate smoke, I couldn't imagine banning it inside someone's private residence."

Councilwoman Robin Goble declined to share her viewpoint. "I'm not ready to tell you what I'm thinking," she said Tuesday, but added, "I'm not going in with any particular agenda."

Councilman Sam Salmon could not be reached for comment.

On Tuesday, smokers like Swaving said he can understand a ban inside apartments to keep smoke from drifting.

"If you have kids upstairs, I can understand it," he said.

And in general, he said more smoking restrictions might prevent others from picking up the habit. Swaving, 47, who has smoked for 15 years, said he is trying to quit, but it's very tough.

"It's the nastiest thing on the planet, next to heroin," he said.

But another Windsor smoker said restrictions are going too far, especially the idea of prohibiting smoking inside an apartment.

"It's pretty ridiculous," Alice Veditz, 23, said as she took a smoke break from her job as a coffee shop barista. "I wouldn't sign that lease."

She said it seems as if there are fewer and fewer places to smoke.

"We always say 'smoking is a dying art,' " Veditz said as she stubbed out her cigarette.

You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or clark.mason@pressdemocrat.



Tonight, Windsor officials will consider whether smoking prohibitions should be extended to parks, as in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, and whether to prohibit smoking in outdoor work places such as construction sites.