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Outdoor Smoking Bans Not Based on Science, Says WeHo News

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To smoke outdoors or not smoke outdoors? That's the controversial question and some fighting words among people. As West Hollywood begins to follow in the footsteps of Los Angeles, which is close to completing its own law banning outdoor smoking around restaurants, the WeHo News this week published an article about the science, or lack thereof, of studying the effects of second hand smoke near outdoor patios.

No study on second hand smoke at patios had been published before last November, said the WeHoNews. That study found "increased levels of SHS [second hand smoke] in their subjects, but not levels considered to be risky... The study acknowledges other faults, including not doing 'an accurate count of the total number of cigarettes lit during each sampling period,' and not measuring how the 'concentration of components of SHS in an outdoor location is… influenced by meteorological factors, such as wind speed, temperature, and humidity.'” The same researcher is expected to do a more comprehensive study this Spring.

West Hollywood businesses are concerned about the proposed smoking ban because, unlike Los Angeles' proposal, the law would make smoking at bar and club patios verboten, too. "We have already in place the ability for customers and businesses to choose," former chair of the Chamber of Commerce Joe Clapsaddle told the WeHo News last month. “I don’t want to be Calabasas, I don’t want to be Santa Monica, I don’t want to be Berkeley, I don’t want to be Beverly Hills - I want to be West Hollywood, California.”