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Starting Tuesday, L.A. Says No Smoking Near Outdoor Dining

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, March 03, 2011, at 02:55PM
Fresh Air Dining Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

A sign prohibiting smoking in outdoor dining areas hangs on the front door of ESPN Zone L.A. Live. Such signs are required to be posted on every restaurant in the city by March 8.

Life will get a little bit tougher for those who smoke next Tuesday as the city's new ordinance prohibiting smoking near outdoor eating areas goes into effect. The new rules make it an infraction to light up inside or within ten feet of a restaurant's outdoor dining area or within 40 feet of food trucks and kiosks without a defined seating area.

The new rules do not apply to bars or nightclubs, nor do they cover someone who enters the restricted radius while "briefly passing by."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmember Tom LaBonge joined Dr. Jonathan Fielding of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at ESPN Zone L.A. Live on Thursday morning to unveil the marketing campaign being launched to promote the new rules. The ads in the Fresh Air Dining LA campaign promote "a side of fresh air" as making burgers, coffee and salads better.

All restaurants and food trucks operating in the city are required to post signage advising diners of the new rules. The signs—which can be downloaded from the program's website—must be visible to diners and passersby.

Along with information about the new restrictions, the signs feature a high-tech touch: QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone and will take viewers to the campaign website.

The new rules are just the latest in a series of prohibitions aimed at reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. The city outlawed smoking at beaches in 2004, smoking at parks in 2007 and smoking at farmers markets in 2008.

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