Outdoor Ban in Beverly Hills?

Starting October 1, smoking in the outdoor sections of bars, cafés and restaurants throughout the posh city of Beverly Hills, California, could earn you a fine.

On Tuesday, the City Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that aims to make it illegal to light up in open-air establishments or within five feet of them. There are exceptions. Hotel pool areas with food and beverage service would be able set aside 25 percent of the deck space for lovers of the leaf. The second reading will be on June 19. If approved again by the council, the ban will become law.

Violators would be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 thereafter in a calendar year.

Indoor smoking in public facilities has been banned throughout the Golden State since 1998. Outdoor bans, similar to the one being proposed in Beverly Hills, have already gone into effect in other Los Angeles-area municipalities, such as Santa Monica and Calabasas.

For more on this story, see the next issue of Cigar Insider.

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