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Time to Butt Out: Smoking Ban on Restaurant Patios & At Food Trucks Goes Into Effect on March 8

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Smokers, and smoking supporters, put a big red circle on your calendar on March 8th, because that's the first day of enforcement for a ban on smoking on outdoor eating areas in the City of Los Angeles.

The motion, first introduced in 2008 by Councilman Greig Smith, and seconded by Tom LaBonge, will see to it there will be no second hand smoke with your meal on outdoor patios of establishments where food is served. Specifically, the Outdoor Dining No-Smoking Ordinance "prohibits smoking within ten feet of all non-enclosed restaurant areas (excluding bars/nightclubs that require patrons to be 18 and older or private events) and 40 feet from mobile food kiosks and trucks that do not have dedicated dining areas (C.F. 08-1544)."

For those for whom coffee and a cigarette go hand-in hand, you might be crestfallen to learn that Starbucks is a big fan of the ban. They will join Smith, LaBonge, and reps from Coalition for a Tobacco Free L.A. County, and the California Restaurant Association tomorrow morning in Porter Ranch for a press conference to discuss the education and outreach that's going to have to happen along with the March 8 ban. Restaurants will have to enforce the ban, and violators will be subject to citation and fines. A number of anti-smoking and health organizations have pledged funds to help the City with their education and outreach program to companion the ban.

Previously: Outdoor Smoking Ordinance Would Ban it on Restaurant Patios & Around Food Trucks