L.A. to Consider Banning Smoking in Most Common Areas

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Photo by fotonomous via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Back in 2008, former LAPD Chief and current City Councilmember Bernard Park submitted a motion that never picked up any steam. "We need to implement legislation to regulate cigarette smoking by limiting it to specific places where there is no expectation of involuntary contact with people - wherever people congregate or there is an expectation of people being present smoking should be prohibited," Parks wrote in his proposal. "This would be an effort to move smokers and smoking away from people who do not chose to either smoke or inhale second hand smoke."

Since then, L.A. has banned smokers from lighting up near dining areas, a law that won't be enforced until early next year. But now, Parks' second hand smoke motion is being considered.

The group today [Update: the item was continued to next week] might direct the City Attorney to create an ordinance that would "enact a second-hand smoking law effective throughout the City which would limit public exposure to secondhand smoke in all public areas and common areas where people congregate including, but not limited to indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches."

But sensitive to concerns from business owners, Councilmembers also want a report back on how this would effect bars, nightclubs and other big venues.

Calabasas in 2006 was the first area-city to enact a strict ban on smoking in common areas.