Hot on the heels of New York City’s expansion of its smoking ban to most outdoor areas comes news from the West Coast of a city trying to do much the same thing.
West Hollywood, California’s city council is examining the move “[i]n an effort to promote public health and limit exposure to second hand smoke,” according to the city’s official Website.
Among other things, the legislation (in its current form) includes:
- Outdoor dining areas of restaurants would be covered, but outdoor areas of bars and nightclubs would be exempt from the smoking prohibition. Restaurants that operate with varying operating characteristics in the late evening would be permitted to create smoking operation plans that allow for smoking in outdoor areas during those hours.
- The two hookah cafes currently located in the city would be exempt from the smoking prohibition
- A “no-smoking buffer zone” of five feet would be created around covered outdoor dining and service areas.
- Hotels would be encouraged to establish smoke-free pool areas through incentives.
In addition, any private membership club that involve smoking operating as of or prior to February 1, 2011 would be grandfathered under the ban.
However, a recent story from KTLA 5 in Los Angeles claims that the ban would include bars and nightclubs. We’ve read the actual proposal here at Stogie’d, though, and we don’t see that specific language.
Violating the law would be a civil matter, but the ban in its current form doesn’t spell out who enforces it, or what the fine(s) would be for violating it.
If the ban passes in its current form, it would not come into effect until January 1, 2012.
A public review of the ban will take place on tonight (Monday, February 7, 2011) at 6:30 PM local time at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. A neighborhood group will hold a “happy-hour protest party” in opposition to the ban, before the council meeting at the Fiesta Cantina location on Santa Monica Blvd.