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L.A. council to consider banning smoking in outdoor dining areas

October 26, 2009 |  5:44 pm

A proposed ban on smoking in Los Angeles’ outdoor dining areas is back before the City Council after months of deliberation.

Introduced in mid-2008 by Councilmen Greig Smith and Dennis Zine, the ordinance drafted by the city attorney’s office would bar customers from lighting up within a 10-foot radius of outdoor seating areas at restaurants and food courts. Under the current draft, smoking would also be prohibited within a 40-foot radius of mobile food trucks and refreshment kiosks.

The rules would exempt bars, nightclubs for the 18-and-older crowd, and venues closed to the public for private events. If the City Council approves the ban, there would be a six-month public education period before the rules are enforced.

Most unclear, however, is who would enforce the rule. Councilman Tom LaBonge, chairman of the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, said members would discuss those details, as well as the possible penalties for violations during an 8:30 a.m. committee hearing Tuesday at City Hall.

-- Maeve Reston at L.A. City Hall