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Health & Nutrition

L.A. Smokers Beware: Starting March 8, You Could Pay Up to $500 for Smoking Near a Restaurant or Food Truck

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Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge Only five days left to inhale in public - THE INSIDER
  • The Insider
  • Only five days left to inhale in public
The L.A. City Council may have passed the outdoor smoking ban over a year ago, but it's just now going into effect. Last March, all Los Angeles restaurants that allowed smoking on their patios were given a one-year grace period to phase out your nasty habits -- but all that grace is going in the ashtray this coming Tuesday.

From March 8 forward, you or the business outside which you're smoking could be slapped with a fine ranging from $250 to $500, according to the Los Angeles County Health Department (based on California Code 36900B).

This includes the city's 3,000 semi-infamous food trucks: Come within 40 feet, and you're officially committing an expensive-ass infraction...

... in case your expensive-ass Parliament Lights haven't smoked you out of house and home already.

click to enlarge Hold your smart phone up to the black-and-white thingy on the right, and you'll be transported to www.freshairdiningla.com (magic!) - FRESH AIR DINING LA
  • Fresh Air Dining LA
  • Hold your smart phone up to the black-and-white thingy on the right, and you'll be transported to www.freshairdiningla.com (magic!)
The 15,000 restaurants that inhabit L.A. will also be subject to the ordinance, only with a more forgiving smoke-free zone of 10 feet.

Linda Aragon, director of Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, says the health department is "working with the food trucks to let them know what the law is" as well as "providing them with signage" (pictured, right).

So no excuses, Lindsay!

If you think this ordinance is bad, just wait until the next one makes its way through City Hall: Councilman Bernard Parks wants L.A.'s no-smoking zone extended to all businesses, parks, apartment common areas and beaches. As pro-tobacco isn't such a popular political stance these days, we're guessing the rest of the council will get behind it faster than you can say "land of the free."

Here's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's stock quote on the matter:

"The City of Los Angeles continues to set the pace for healthy living. Angelenos already enjoy smoke-free parks, beaches and farmers' markets and now they will be able to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor dining that L.A. has to offer without exposure to toxic secondhand smoke."

Angry? Relieved? In need of a stress-extracting cancer stick more than ever before? Let us know.

Shocking update: UCLA Study shows cigarettes make teens want to smoke more cigarettes. So in case you were unclear, smoking bad, smoking ban good. End of story.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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