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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)

Great idea. I go to the Alcove on Hillhurst just to be able to sit outdoors in a smoke-free environment (they've banned it since they opened and they're the busiest place around). Compare to Home, down the block which refuses to have a no-smoking section outside, even though they are set up with two separate areas. No thanks. I stopped going there just to be able to eat without smoke around and enjoy the outdoors.

A city that can't even control its most fundamental responsibilities is going to ban outdoor smoking, which is a non-issue? Every member of the city council who votes for this should be recalled.

A city that can't even control its most fundamental responsibilities is going to ban outdoor smoking, which is a non-issue? Every member of the city council who votes for this should be recalled.

There's this weird little band that swarms EVERY single story about smoking.

These spammers' boilerplate messages have turned the nation's message boards into their own PR bullhorns. Why? Just as in the past, when every newspaper story about smoking got the tagline, "But the Tobacco Insitute says the study is flawed," the goal remains (as a tobacco exec said): "Doubt is our Product."

Whether to promote their ventilation company, or save their daddy's farm or convenience store, to justify their own sad addiction, or to redeem their own pitiful public image, or just to earn their PR pay, these profligate spammers are out to drown message boards--and to drown out dissent.

Yes, "Bob" (or is it "generalsn" today?), nototbacconet and harleyrider, I'm talking about you, at least (google them).

But who are they really? None have the guts to stand up and sling their guff in front of legislators in open hearings--then they might have to account for themselves and their BS. Judging by their ends-justify-the-means tactics and disdain for message boards and the intelligence of normal, local contributors (who are often berated if they dissent), who would trust them?

Unfortunately for them, the truth is easily found, on actual, accountable websites, in normal studies by real scientists, people with names, educations, and reputations (all part of their GRAND CONSPIRACY, I'm sure):

The comprehensive 2006 US Surgeon General's report is at:
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/

Mayo Clinic:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/secondhand-smoke/CC00023

National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute Research:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/secondhandsmoke.html

For those looking to understand what's really going on nationwide with all the spamming of message boards, Wikipedia does a good job of quickly explaining the reality behind their PR in "Industry-funded Studies and Critiques":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondhand_smoke#Industry-funded_studies_and_critiques

I think serious "viral marketing" mavens are out there trying to:

1) influence juries, and

2) lasso the last known tobacco demographic: the poor, the uneducated, and all those stupid enough to believe anonymous internet spammers.

Now that we have legislators controlling our outside freedoms, where are we "Free" to do anything?
I find it very hard to swallow that "WE" American Citizens are allowing our freedoms to be gradually taken away and led to believe that it is "Good" for us?
We should "ALL" be ashamed of ourselves for even letting things like this happen or even be considered.
Our forefathers must be rolling in their graves right now. Those who have given their lives protecting "OUR" freedoms. What did they give their lives for?
The American Revolution, WW1,WW2,Korea,Vietnam, and even more present wars are all for what? What are we defending? It is certainly not our Constitution!!!
It all starts off with the small things and then moves on to larger things. Wait until "Martial Law" is put into place! When "WE" are totally stripped of "ALL" of our freedoms. It may sound a little extreme right now at this moment, but trust me, this is how it all begins! I understand both sides of the argument here and I am intelligent enough to know that another human being should not have to be harmed by another person's actions. That is not the case here though, the "REAL" issue here is right as an American to have Freedom.
"Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it."

Can't wait till they make it illegal....then I can retire after making a few runs..

wonder what else the state/fed will make illegal that we can make money off of..

Nazis! What's next?

Nazis! What's next?

Let's get these idiots out of office. Impeach LaBonge and everyone else on this stupid committee. They are wasting our tax money!

The L.A. city council live in bubble. They only care about themselves and never ask the real citizens of L.A. what they think about imposing an outdoor smoking ban. Did anyone ever get a letter from them about this issue? The Anti-smoking lobby (ASHE) has a global agenda to make the world smoke-free even if it closes businesses and puts a great deal of stress (which makes people smoke more and new smokers increase in numbers) Look at the data, there are now increasingly more new smokers in countries like Ireland where they have imposed a strict ban. It has the opposite effect on the public. This is about choice if you're a non-smoker and don't like to be around it OUTSIDE on a patio, then GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! What a concept!

This is becoming very, very old.
In the 1970's, clothing-optional beaches like Pirates Cove were gaining in popularity. The general behavior was respectful and platonic, so Our City Council and Our County Board of Supervisors banned them in L.A.
Actors and adult performers are exempt from the ban.
Two years after the ban took effect , in 1982 Playboy shot a layout at Pirates Cove by permit.

In the 1980's, Cruise Night on Van Nuys Blvd. was gaining in popularity, so Our City Council banned it in L.A. Film makers are exempt from the ban.

Smoking in bars and restaurants was the tradition, so Special Interests and Mob Rule banned it throughout Our State with a vote. Actors and film makers are of course exempt from the ban.

In the late 1970's, part of the tobacco tax was used for providing ashtrays and maintenance of the ashtrays at public parks and beaches and elsewhere in the cities of Our State. This was why smokers paid a special tobacco tax. Our City Council and Our County reps (rips) removed the public ashtrays in the late 1970's in order to discourage smoking in public places, so then there was no place to put the butts.
In this decade Our City Council then outlawed smoking at public parks and beaches, citing "the terrible problem of butts littering the sands and grounds".
Once again, Actors, film makers and porn stars are exempt from this prohibition.

Currently, Our City Council is threatening to either outlaw medical marijuana stores outright, severely limit them, or banish them to industrial areas alongside adult bookstores and strip clubs because this is how Our City Council sees the behavior of many of us who sunbathe, who cruise, who smoke, or who require our medicines and who would otherwise live a happy, peaceful co-existence with everyone who bothers to read the signs before invading the spaces of the rest of us and who do not have their minds made up to persecute citizens by their differences.

I smoke.
Do I sound DEAD to you?
Maybe we need to ignore boilerplate Special Interests propaganda and instead look to our friends and family who smoke to determine the truth.

It's like the pictures of "black lung" from smoking.
If these images were true, then my mouth and sinuses would also be black, wouldn't they?

So when will the Council ban eating and drinking on outdoor patios?
We can't have children and susceptible adults viewing others indulging in unnecessary calories and toxic alcohol. It is why the obesity and alcohol abuse rates have risen in this country - Ban it all!

I think we need to remove the income motive from the antismoking movement.

You don't get to defacate wherever you want (nasty) and you don't get to smoke wherever you want (nasty). People can't sit naked in a restaurant or scream profanities (though not illegal, you certainly would be asked to leave) in a restaurant. How is smoking any different except that it is actually, physically harmful? Grow up and stop crying about it. And maybe try being a little more considerate. Not everyone wants to "enjoy" a smoke with you.

I am an ex smoker and when I smoked, I was very aware of the nastiness and tried NOT to smoke where it might bother others. Many somkers are not this thoughtful of others so someone else has to take the initiative. It's disgusting and dangerous to breathe smoke and completely ruins a meal. Why should I be the one to have to move when the smoker in the one choosing to harm himself? Yes, you have the freedom to do what you want to your own body, but not mine, not my kids', and not to the person sitting near you at dinner.

Sure, smog is killing us too, but many of the people fighting against smoking in public are also the same people fighting to reduce pollution. It's not a big secret that smoking is toxic, and you have a choice to put that in your body, but you DO NOT have the right to put it in mine. Whining about losing the right to poison other people is just plain ridiculous. Nazis? Really??? Pathetic comparison of the slaughter of millions upon millions of people to losing your right to harm others.

You don't get to defacate wherever you want (nasty) and you don't get to smoke wherever you want (nasty). People can't sit naked in a restaurant or scream profanities (though not illegal, you certainly would be asked to leave) in a restaurant. How is smoking any different except that it is actually, physically harmful? Grow up and stop crying about it. And maybe try being a little more considerate. Not everyone wants to "enjoy" a smoke with you.

I am an ex smoker and when I smoked, I was very aware of the nastiness and tried NOT to smoke where it might bother others. Many somkers are not this thoughtful of others so someone else has to take the initiative. It's disgusting and dangerous to breathe smoke and completely ruins a meal. Why should I be the one to have to move when the smoker in the one choosing to harm himself? Yes, you have the freedom to do what you want to your own body, but not mine, not my kids', and not to the person sitting near you at dinner.

Sure, smog is killing us too, but many of the people fighting against smoking in public are also the same people fighting to reduce pollution. It's not a big secret that smoking is toxic, and you have a choice to put that in your body, but you DO NOT have the right to put it in mine. Whining about losing the right to poison other people is just plain ridiculous. Nazis? Really??? Pathetic comparison of the slaughter of millions upon millions of people to losing your right to harm others.

The smoking ban is not a bad idea, so long as decent precautions are taken. Most restaurants are building outdoor patios where smokers can sit, and I don't think those areas should receive this smoking ban as well. It is understandable that someone can be annoyed by second hand smoke, but not being able to smoke makes a smokers evening much worse than yours when you have to smell him or her. Recently my wife and I decided we should quit smoking. We tried almost everything but finally we found these new electronic cigarettes. They are fantastic, and don't produce the same annoying second hand smoke. Our friends don't mind sitting with us over dinner anymore, and I love the taste and as a couple we are saving almost $300 a month by switching over. I put up a blog chronicalling our adventure if anyone wants to read.
http://www.quitcigs.us.tt
I know it isn't 100% up to date. I wrote some posts while I was on vacation and I will get them up asap, I promise.

 
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