Los Angeles - illegal to smoke in outdoor dining areas as of March 8, 2011..

March 9, 2011 - It is now illegal to light up in outdoor dining areas in Los Angeles under a new law that took effect Tuesday, March 8th to protect restaurant patrons from secondhand smoke (shs, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoking, ets, sidestream smoke, involuntary smokoing).

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.” (Los Angeles County - bans smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces..)

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. (Los Angeles - more limitations on where smokers can smoke..)

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.

Directly related news briefs:
Back on November 18, 2010 - The Los Angeles City Council unanimously directed its attorneys to prepare an ordinance that would ban smoking in "all public areas and common areas where people congregate." (Los Angeles City - smoking to be banned just about everywhere..)

References: Ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas of Los Angeles restaurants goes into effect, Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times _ LOcal, 3/8/2011; Ban on Smoking Outside Restaurants and Dining Areas Takes Effect Today by Amy Scattergood, LAWeekly.com, 3/8/2011.

Some Los Angeles related news briefs:
Los Angeles City - smoking to be banned just about everywhere..;
Los Angeles - more limitations on where smokers can smoke..;
Los Angeles - jury recommends Philip Morris USA pay $13.8 million in punitive damages..;
Los Angeles County - bans smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces..;
Los Angeles - jury recommends Philip Morris USA pay $13.8 million in punitive damages..;
L.A. bans smoking in parks...

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