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Smoking ban for outdoor restaurant seating backed by L.A. City Council committee

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2009/01/21/smoker1.jpgA plan for banning smoking in the outdoor sections of Los Angeles restaurants moved one step closer to approval today.

The City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee agreed this morning to prohibit smoking within 10 feet of restaurant patios, gardens and decks. “This is a big step forward,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Koreatown and North Hollywood.

Under the proposed ordinance, any space that is within 30 feet of a food truck also will be defined as an “outdoor dining area.” The measure would not apply to nightclubs and bars that require patrons to be 18 or older. Anyone caught breaking the law could face a fine of up to $250, city officials said.

LaBonge, who heads the committee, said he wants a final council vote on the ordinance before the end of this year. He also called for a one-year grace period, during which no enforcement would occur, to allow eating establishments to become informed about the law.

During that period, the city would rely on business groups to translate information on the new law into other languages, city officials said.

The committee had been weighing a plan to allow larger restaurants to create special outdoor smoking areas. But after hearing objections from a representative of Councilman Greig Smith, that provision was removed.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

Photo: L.A. Times file

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Comments () | Archives (93)


How sad. I don't smoke, but it seems that the illusion of freedom is slowly being eroded by government. Why take people's right to smoke away from them? It makes no sense other than to have people become more adjusted to fewer rights and privileges before hitting them with NO rights at all.

I don't know why they continue to dick around. If you want to ban smoking, ban it. Quit doing piecemeal work of it and wasting our money in the process.

Ban it completely, or do something worth our money.

I don't care what laws are passed. I grew up with a smoking dad who never rolled down his windows. Now, much older, and a smoker, I'll continue to smoke wherever and whenever I want.

Laws be damned, you people want to baby wrap everything and make it "safe" and "healthy" so you can live forever.

Live your life and quit complaining already. Let's enforce a society that has to live with the cuts and bruises of life, instead of trying to shelter everyone from everyone else.

Hallelujah! Smokers should be limited to their own nests and never smoke in the presence of those who have to breathe their noxious fumes, including their own children. Yes, it is time for govt regulation of parenting.

YAY!!! Now I can sit outside in the sunshine and enjoy my food without having to inhale that nasty crap from the table next to me!!!! YAY!!!!!

I'm not a smoker but this is truly stupid. It's a total Straw Man. If this law is about protecting health (which I can only assume it is), you would gain far more health benefits from banning diesel trucks and cars that are certified to lower emission standards (like SUVs and trucks) from driving near patios.

The health effects of constant toxic fumes from trucks and cars far, far outweigh the occasional and transitory smoke that comes from an occasional cigarette. I'm not trying to go on a tirade against "gas guzzlers," I'm just trying to point out that some people's anti-smoking obsession under the guise of protecting health is flat out wrong when it comes to the science.

I'm sure many of these politicians who are voting to ban cigarettes in order to "protect health" are themselves grossly polluting the air and causing their own harmful health impacts by driving gas guzzlers. The hypocrisy is repulsive.

The only thing surprising about the proposed ban in this, one of our Nanny-State's two nanniest cities (SF, of course, being the other one), is that that publicity-hungry jackass Villaraigosa didn't somehow turn this into yet another pointless photo op.

Or is that his hand in the photo above?

Just another human right taken away by slaveowners ( (Government) Im not even a smoker either.

First it's cigarettes they ban. Then it's sugar. Then it's salt. Then it's coffee. Then it's meat. Until eventually we're the Demolition Man. Frankly I don't want to be the Demolition Man.

From Leslie
"Now I can sit outside in the sunshine and enjoy my food without having to inhale that nasty crap from the table next to me"

Uh Duh you live in LA. What do you think is coming off that 10/110/405?

It will take an expensive lawsuit probably argued to the Supreme Court before they stop taking away liberty, not based on science but mob rule.

Stupid. This should be up to the restaurants.
I can guarantee you that some of these owners will lose on this, as smokers are a niche as well. Lots of these outdoor dining areas were created for them specifically.
You don't like smoke, you probably just should be eating elsewhere. Saying smoking is not allowed on our patio has already been the right of the restaurant owners, so logically they want to allow it where it is permitted.
People have a lot of nerve!

It's about time! If you want to kill yourself by smoking.......go ahead, but leave my lungs out of it. This should have been passed years ago. Now they need to take it to the next level and completely ban any outdoor smoking on public property. It's disgusting to walk down the street and have a smoker in front of you who just blows their smoke right in your face. As someone who has lung disease, I applaud this ban and look forward to saving thousands of dollars in unnecessary trips to the hospital due to inhaling second hand smoke.

Any day now they will start telling us when we can use the restroom and what we can do on our free time. This is supposed to be the land of the free but our freedoms are being taking away one by one. City council should start worrying more about our jobless, homeless, and crime problems and spend less time worrying about where and when people decide to smoke cigarettes. Canada anyone?

More government regulation in Los Angeles City to kill small business and associated tax base.

30 ft distance from a roach coach, the food trucks?

10 ft from an outdoor dining patio?

What is happening down at City Hall - do they compete for ways to strangle any and all small business and regulate *everything* into bankruptcy courts?

I suppose LA residents will get taxed on something to cover the cost of the new smoking regulation ENFORCERS.

What next? bars? I am a non smoker and mother of three- Leave it alone already- Let's not take any more rights away- There is no reason that smoking should be banned from an outdoor eatery. And, now the food trucks... Ugh.
There is plenty of room for everyone & this is just ridiculous. And we are paying for this? I agree with the comment below about taking away rights, welcome to our new freedom- or lack there of.
: (

How sad that people dont have the freedom anymore. If people dont like it than they can go inside they have the choice to go inside or be outside and smell the smoke. Its sad the way the world thinks these days teaching are kids happy holidays and taking God out of the hold picture. It Merry Christmas. I feel sorry for people now days

I am an ex-smoker and while I think any reasonably intelligent person will admit smoking is nasty, vile habit, I have to pose the following question. If smoking is so unhealthy, why is it legal?

It continues to astonish me how selfish some smokers can be when it comes to subjecting the rest of us to their life-threatening habit. One says he'll smoke whenever and where ever he wants, laws be damned. Another thinks banning smoke in restaurants is hypocrisy because they haven't banned gas-guzzlers. Meanwhile, no one refutes the proven health risks, the threat to children, and the simple indecency of ruining a non-smokers meal with their indifferent clouds of smoke. I suppose I could develop some perfume, some truly foul-smelling aerosol, and "smoke it" all around my seating area in a restaurant - and no one had a right to complain? It's against the law to defacate anywhere you want, so why should you be allowed to smoke anywhere you want?

Is there any part of our lives that this City Nanny-Council won't stick their nose into. If they paid half this much attention to how they spend our money we wouldn't be the budget crisis that we are in. Sorry LA (and California), I'm out of here.

Totally agree with smoking ban when people around smokers are eating!!! I know everyone should have the freedom and right to smoke, but what about the rights of non-smokers? Shouldn't non-smokers have a right to eat in a smoke-free atmosphere? Smokers think about this...what if someone passes gas right next to you (more than once) when you are eating? Not too appealing to have bad odors when you eat, is it?

Yay for the LA City Council! We now finally have an outdoor smoking ban. Of course we also have a $500 million budget deficit, poor city services, crappy public education, polluted air, a polluted bay, a crumbling infrastructure, and high unemployment--but never mind about all that! We made a HUGE step forward by banning outdoor smoking!

A big thank you to the LA City Council for spending their valuable time on this important issue!

If restaurant owners really wanted to maintain some sort of say-so about this issue, they would have already been providing non-smoking sections on patios. And yes, I know that the air quality is already sucky -- that's why I don't need smokers making it even worse. No one is talking about banning smoking -- I despised tobacco a long time before my dad died of lung cancer -- but I still feel people should have the right to kill themselves that way if they're stupid enough to want to. What they don't have the right to do is further pollute my air.

I look forward to enjoying more outdoor meals in the near future.

As long as the ban is on smoking tobacco and not marijuana folks won't complain.

How is it sad? Forcing others around you to inhale your stench is not a freedom, it's a travesty that has gone on for way too long. Smokers often have no idea how badly their smoke smells, nor how badly they themselves smell. I certainly don't want to smell it while I'm eating, just because you've become addicted to nicotine.

You are now being forced to be considerate. Personally, I'll be happy when you aren't allowed to step foot out of your home or car to smoke.

Everyone--you need to relax. The politicians have our best interests in mind and you need to trust them. I for one am very thankful that they are looking out for me. I couldn't imagine life without politicians--it would be so dangerous!!!

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