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Hermosa Beach bans smoking in outdoor areas

October 27, 2011 |  4:48 pm

Hermosa Beach is the latest Southern California city to ban smoking in outdoor areas, a decision  that makes it illegal to light up in outdoor dining areas, parks and the city pier.

With the ban, which takes effect in March, Hermosa Beach will join Los Angeles, which began instituting a similar but less restrictive ban earlier this year. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills,  Calabasas and other cities have similar smoking restrictions.

Mayor Howard Fishman and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Duclos introduced the idea nearly a year ago, and  a subcommittee met with community leaders and businesses to draft the ordinance.

“The view of ‘Whatever you to do your own body, you can do’ does not apply here,” Duclos said. “It has documented impacts on people who are exposed to it.”

Duclos added: “Do we want fresh-air dining, or do we want a pub crawl?”

More than a half-dozen community members and health professionals answered in favor of fresh air dining, staying out until almost midnight Tuesday to support the ban. Only one resident voiced dissent.

Resident Hany Fangary was pleased that the council directed city staff to draft an ordinance banning polystyrene early in the evening and passed the smoking ban hours later.  

“I have two little kids, they’re 7 and 11,” Fangary said Thursday. “I don’t want them exposed to secondhand smoke.”

City Manager Steve Burrell said that fines will range from $100 to $500, and will be considered administrative violations, rather than criminal misdemeanors or infractions.

The ordinance will come up for a second reading Nov. 8.


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--Matt Stevens

Photo: Not everyone is aware of the smoking bans, such as this woman in Beverly Hills. Credit: Rick Loomis.