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Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

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tobacco faqstobacco legislation


smokingbanpicb1 In the last discussion of smoking legislation news around the United States you were filled in on recent happenings in Indiana and South Carolina. This time around we will discuss what has occurred not too long ago in California, Utah, and Massachusetts regarding this topic.

Los Angeles’ smoking ban sees some exemptions

Pending the Mayor’s signature, the great city of Los Angeles may have a new outdoor smoking policy. The outdoor dining area smoking ban is a proposal that was introduced over a year and a half ago. The Los Angeles City Council approved the proposal, and now it is up to the city’s Mayor to sign off on it to finally make it official.

smokingbanpicb2

If approved, the new policy will institute three major changes that will affect smoking near dining areas. First affected are restaurants, which will not permit any smoking within ten feet of their outdoor dining areas. Second, smoking will be prohibited within ten feet of any food court areas in places such as shopping malls. Finally, smoking will be prohibited within forty feet of any mobile food stands. In other words, L.A. residents will have to think twice before lighting up while ordering a hot dog off the street.

Once signed by the Mayor, the policy will be enacted thirty days thereafter. There is some leeway, however, as businesses will be given one year to adjust to the new rules. This one-year grace period is meant to help businesses acclimate themselves as well as their customers to the restrictions. After the year is over, though, the gloves are off, as patrons as well as business owners are fair game to receive tickets from Code Enforcement for smoking where prohibited. The tickets could put a nice dent in somebody’s wallet as well, with maximum fines reaching up to $250 per incident.

News of this outdoor smoking policy is obviously not welcome by cigar enthusiasts and other smokers. There is some good news, however, as some exemptions were included in the policy, thanks to the Cigar Rights of America group, or CRA. The CRA met with L.A. City Council members to educate them on the possible problems that such bans could bring to the city in terms of ruining businesses and decreasing revenue. Speaking specifically in the name of cigar enthusiasts, the CRA told City Council members that many cigar smokers patronize certain establishments to enjoy their favorite stogies after a nice meal or with some nice liquor, and handcuffing such places would put a real damper on L.A.’s economy.






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