You seem to have had an issue loading this page or you have javascript disabled, which may cause problems while using Change.org. To avoid any further inconvenience, please enable javascript in your browser and refresh this page.
Oakland City Council: Ban smoking around the perimeter of Lake Merritt.
  • Petitioned Rebecca Kaplan

This petition was delivered to:

Councilmember At-Large
Rebecca Kaplan
Council District 3
Lynette Gison McElhaney
Council District 1
Dan Kalb
Council District 2
Patricia Kernighan
Council District 4
Libby Schaaf
Council District 5
Noel Gallo
Council District 6
Desley Brooks
Council District 7
Larry Reid
Chief of Staff for Jean Quan
Anne Campbell Washington

Oakland City Council: Ban smoking around the perimeter of Lake Merritt.

    1. Petition by

      Jeane Kim

At present, people are allowed to smoke all around the perimeter of Lake Merritt, as long as they are 25 feet away from a building. Bay Area residents of all ages visit the lake for fun and fitness. This experience is often marred by the presence of second-hand smoke which can be especially harmful for children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions. Let’s make Lake Merritt safe for all visitors by introducing a ban on smoking around the perimeter of the lake.

Rebecca Kaplan, Councilmember At-Large
Lynette Gison McElhaney, Council District 3
Dan Kalb, Council District 1
Patricia Kernighan, Council District 2
Libby Schaaf, Council District 4
Noel Gallo, Council District 5
Desley Brooks, Council District 6
Larry Reid, Council District 7
Anne Campbell Washington, Chief of Staff for Jean Quan
Please help improve Oakland by creating a local ordinance to ban smoking around the perimeter of Lake Merritt. Oakland residents and visitors deserve a clean-air oasis when they visit the lake for fitness and recreation.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Lynette Gison McElhaney responds:

      Lynette Gison McElhaney

      B.Cook supports the smoking ban around the Lake

    3. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Ólafur Hannesson HAFNARFJORDUR, ICELAND
      • 8 months ago

      I would like smoking to be banned because it's bad for your health. Looking at Worldometers, there have been over 10 thousand deaths caused by smoking today. I am signing this petition for that reason. I also do not only want smoking banned around this perimeter, but to be honest, I want it banned throughout the entire world.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 9 months ago

      Dangers of smoking are as real as the millions of people that lose their lives world wide on an annual basis due to the severe consequences and side effects of nicotine. Smoking dangers can be considered both in the immediate, medium term as well as in the long term. During the early days and years of using tobacco the effects on the whole tend to be less apparent. They may remain hidden yet incrementally damaging your key organs.

      According to credible studies, smoking tobacco has been linked to a plethora of negative health effects. The most commonly known dangers of smoking tobacco are lung cancer, skin cancer and heart disease amongst others take many years to show yet are not the only consequences of tobacco use. It is apparent that in most cases the length of time it is perceived these effects take to manifest has deceived many young people into believing that tobacco use is harmless.

      Immediate Dangers Of Smoking Cigarettes

      The following is a summary of immediate and medium term dangers associated with tobacco use.

      Respiratory infections

      Chronic cough

      Shortness of breadth

      Cardiovascular damage (without symptoms)

      Immune suppression

      Stress and behavioral change

      Nicotine dependency (addiction)

      Increased heart rate

      Increased metabolism

      Respiratory Infections

      Once an individual starts smoking cigarettes, a long protracted process would have been set in motion that eventually leads to a total health breakdown and even death. As this process is set in motion smoking individuals will likely begin to suffer respiratory ailments. Typically this will manifest as chronic cough, shortness of breadth as well as frequent respiratory related infections. A smoking individual will likely notice these remarkable changes in their respiratory health.

      Asymptomatic Cardiovascular Damage

      Shortness of breadth will be more outspoken whenever the individual engages in physical activity. In fact when dealing with teenage tobacco use, this is one of the recommended ways of noticing early tobacco use amongst this group. Other immediate smoking dangers will include cardiovascular damage. Nicotine helps the quick build-up of plaque in the arteries as it promotes the presence of bad cholesterol known as LDL. This is often what leads to heart disease in smokers later in life.

      Immune Weakness

      Tobacco smoking may also lead to the compromise of your immune system in the medium term. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) cigarette smokers put a definite stress on their antibodies. This allows for other infections to enter in which the body would under normal circumstances overcome. This immune system suppression also explains the increase in respiratory infection mentioned above.

      Stress and Behavioral change

      Other immediate dangers of smoking include increased stress and behavioral change. This is most noticeable in teenage smokers. Younger smokers tend to develop apparent stress and behavioral changes associated with tobacco use. Stress maybe as a result of the difficulties experienced in dealing with the onset of nicotine dependency.

      Nicotine Dependency (addiction)

      Irreversible or very difficult to break nicotine dependency is also a difficult to ignore danger of smoking. This causes many people to continue smoking years into the future even against their will. Credible studies suggest that up to 70% of smokers think about quitting smoking but are held back by the difficulty and lack of clear steps on how to go about it.

      Increased Heart Rate

      Dangers of smoking also include an increased heart rate. Every individual's heart rate increases at one point or another due to a variety of reasons. These reasons are usually our experiences during the normal course of life such as when working out, when terrified when anxious and so on. However, in the case of tobacco smokers, heart rate can be abnormally high and remain so. This can have fatal results for individuals already suffering from heart disease, with hypertension or any other cardiovascular ailment.

      Increased Metabolism

      The other immediate danger associated with smoking is increased metabolism. Whilst this may seem desirable in actual fact it is associated with a greater heart workload and may lead to the development of heart disease. Moreover, when the individual eventually stops smoking their metabolism rate will fall leading to weight gain. As is well known weight gain is associated with diabetes and heart disease.

      Medium To Long Term Smoking Dangers Cigarettes

      The following is a summary of smoking dangers medium to long term;

      Cancers (lung cancer most prevalent)

      Bronchospasm including (excessive mucus production)


      In long term tobacco smokers are in danger of lung cancer. In fact lung cancer is the leading type of cancer the world is still contending with due to tobacco use. In America alone of all cancer deaths, lung cancer is responsible for nearly 30% of the deaths. It causes death between both men and women. Even though there are other causes of lung cancer even in people who do not smoke, smoking statistics show that in as many as 90% of all cases amongst men the cause is smoking and that number is 80% amongst women. Cigarette additives are at the centre of diseases related to smoking.

      Teenage SmokingOther effects of smoking medium to long term will include excessive mucus production due to damage done to lung hairs known as cilia. This is also associated with persistent cough as the body attempts to deal with the impaired work of cilia in the lungs lining.

      In the medium to long term tobacco use will contribute significantly to high blood pressure also known as hypertension. Individuals who smoke tobacco or use chew tobacco are at increased risk of high blood pressure.

      The dangers of smoking while pregnant are grave. The unborn is placed in direct line of damage becoming likely to be born underweight and even underdeveloped.

      It is also important to keep in mind that the dangers of smoking are not limited to the individual smoking but also to others around them. This is known as second hand smoke or passive smoking. The dangers of second hand smoke are just as real. There is also another factor known as third hand smoke. The dangers are essentially the same leading to hypertension, heart disease and even heart attack.

      All in all there is no really safe smoking as some especially amongst the teens would consider. There are also hardly any safe alternatives to cigarettes. All cigarette smoking is harmful first to the smoker and second to all others around the individual. Whether it's at home, in a bus, in an elevator (third hand smoking), or at an enclosed night spot. Cigarette ingredients makes cigarettes unsafe.

    • Edgar Stahl RICHARDSON, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      Smokers need to stop insisting they have a right to smoke in public and instead quit. Smoking is killing millions of people around the world.

    • JP Holwell OAKLAND, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      I like to run around the lake. Runners need their lungs.

    • Kathleen Peirano WALNUT CREEK, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      clean air for all.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.