A new ordinance takes effect today that bans cigarette smoking in outdoor Los Angeles restaurants. The law, which carries a fine of $500, specifically prohibits smoking within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas and food courts, and within 40 feet of food carts and mobile food trucks. Nightclubs and bars with outdoor areas are exempt. Because the people there are partying, so who cares if they're exposed to a little secondhand smoke along with all the other crap they're ingesting.

The law was passed unanimously by City Council over a year ago. Why the lag time? To give businesses time to warn their smoking customers and post “No Smoking” signs. Which takes a really long time. To say “you can't smoke here.” And to buy a bunch of signs. My kid recently made a sign like that (okay, it was a “No Grownups Allowed” sign) and it took her all of 3 minutes. You see the problem.

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