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Ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas of Los Angeles restaurants goes into effect

It is now illegal to light up in outdoor dining areas in Los Angeles under a new law that took effect Tuesday to protect restaurant patrons from secondhand smoke.

The Los Angeles ordinance prohibits smoking within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas and food courts and within 40 feet of food carts and mobile food trucks. Bars and 18-and-over nightclubs with outdoor areas are exempt from the law.

“Angelenos already enjoy smoke-free parks, beaches and farmers’ markets," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement, "and now they will be able to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor dining that L.A. has to offer without exposure to toxic secondhand smoke.”

The City Council unanimously approved the restrictions over a year ago, but they did not go into effect until now to give businesses time to inform their customers and post "no smoking" signs. Violators, both customers and businesses, face fines of up to $500.

The ban in Los Angeles follows the lead of other Southern California cities that have in recent years passed smoke-free outdoor dining laws, including Burbank, Beverly Hills, Calabasas and Santa Monica. California law already bars smoking inside restaurants and bars.

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Comments () | Archives (11)

No smoking anywhere but lets legalize marijuana. does that make sense?

OK, then why not ban fast food and food items with high fat/caloric content?

I don't understand this country anymore. It's perfectly OK for the US (Los Angeles in particular) to tell smokers that they're not allowed to smoke on their private balconies, that they can't smoke near certain buildings, near doorways and now, they can't smoke outside?

But when someone proposes telling obese Americans that they shouldn't be allowed to purchase fatty foods, the Conservatives get in a tizzy demanding they have the right to make themselves overweight! Where is the logic here? Is smokers can't smoke outside anymore, than obese people shouldn't be allowed to eat in public. It's hazardous to their health.

I'm not trying to support smoking here, I get that not everyone can tolerate the smell and it's not the most healthy thing. But, considering the article the LAT ran yesterday about obesity causing more cancer in the US than smoking, coupled with the fact that more Americans die from being overweight than by smoking every year, it's frustratingly annoying to see a useless ban like this go down when we could be preventing the next generation from turning into 300 lb slobs who eat McDonald's every day.

Oh for Gods' sake! Not only is LA one the most expensive, exhausting and ridiculous places to live - now they are going to punish everyone who smokes too. If you're going to ban everything people might find distasteful or harmful start with the mayor, city counsel and whiney nanny yuppies who are enforcing this rule. Smoking may be dangerous - but not as dangerous as removing individual freedoms piece by piece. Think about it - What's going to be next?

Once again , zealots make decisions for all of us.
So who will the police target? The homeless guy who is screaming on the street, smoking a cigarette or the working individual who happens to like a cigar or a butt? I doubt if the police will be issuing tickets to some dude hanging out in Silver Lake with a body full of tats but grab the West Side resident who looks like they can afford to pay a ticket.
Will our esteemed Mayor be patrolling down town and call in the SWAT team for
that unlucky individual who is taking a smoking break on their lunch break?
The idea of this of course is another money grab by our visionless officials who should be making decisions that truly impact the citizens who pay taxes, manage to hold a job and do not create waves.
The reality of this poor excuse of a law is that we need to make better choices of what is a priority and this should not be one of them.
We don't need another prohibitive law that is totally useless. If our officials continue to do such a poor job, perhaps they need to take their retirement money and move to another city.

I think some of the comments above are comparing apples to oranges here. Eating fast mood is certainly bad for your health too, but it doesn't impact others (maybe indirectly with the increased cost of health insurance, etc.) the way second-hand smoke can. For me, it's not about the "bad smell" of cigarette smoke. I'm a person who is allergic to smoke and when I'm exposed to it my eyes burn, I start to cough, etc. And for folks with asthma, inhaling smoke can be even more harmful.

Yes! Finally, looonngg over due, I can care less whether you smoke cigs or crack, I just don't want to have to ingest it with my coffee and or food thank you very much, eat your double double, puff your cigars, just don't make me have to do it as well, is that asking for too much from you smokers, geez.

I hate sitting on the patio of a coffee shop and having to breathe in all the POISON that spews from the exhaust of the cars stuck in traffic just 10 feet away. The chemicals you breathe in, by sitting curbside, are just as dangerous. I motion to ban cars in the city of los angeles. Lets get serious. Ban aircraft flying overhead as well - who knows what chemicals are falling down on us. Also, Animal feces are polluting ground water and while we're at it - all CFL bulbs in businesses should be banned. IF one of those happen to break while your in the store - your as good as dead. Mercury vapor and all. Ban fireplaces (good work Laguna Beach!) cause when the earthquake hits and power/gas is off, why would you want an alternative to keep warm?! Not risking it with my lungs! Is this ridiculous yet? or just an agenda to come...

As the jokes goes (which is actually true), "you know who else championed 'no smoking' ordinances? Hitler."

Nobody is "banning" your precious smoking from ya, yes everyday pollutants IS a problem everywhere, I'm curious, just what are YOU doing as a smoker to prevent that, a good start, maybe, just maybe is cutting down on meat consumption, if you're REALLY serious in helping the environment, public transportation, or bike to work a day or two (if possible) is another way of helping, or are you just trying to make a lame case for smoking anywhere the hell you please with no regard to the vile smell that the non smokers have to endure while they eat and or drink their coffee. Please don't tell me where I should and shouldn't go, everyone has a right to dine outdoors without having to INHALE somebody else's "rights".

In this context there are two kind of people in southern California:

1. People that like to smoke (minority) and know that smoking is stupid
2. People that don't like to smoke (majority) and think that smoking is stupid

If you are 1 (minority), don't be the annoying idiot that spoils lunch/dinner for 2 (majority).

This law is designed to help you not be the idiot that the majority (2) is annoyed with and looks down to.

Let's be fair ppl-if you smokers wanted to eat and not smell smoke then you would love this. Don't be hypocrites,no sane person smokes to begin with. And the sane people don't want to smell your poison,it ruins my meal inhaling that garbage. There is nothing worse than smelling or tasting cig smoke when you don't smoke-especially when eating,it's nauseating! You want to know what's more nauseating than that? Walking past someone in a store who has the stench of stale cig smoke on them,horrible. I wish we had stores for non-smokers to avoid those awful,smelly,disgusting smokers clothes. And if you smokers don't like the safety and consideration these rules provide then we non-smokers would be happy to drop you off on some island and leave you there to enjoy your poison in peace. Although it might get pretty lonely considering most of you will croak from cancer by the time we made it back to the mainland.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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