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

March 8, 2011 |  7:57 am

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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