Los Angeles Lawmakers Likely to Mull Smoking Ban

If the recent vote by the Los Angeles City Council to ban new fast food restaurants in parts of the city for one year is any indication, the ability to enjoy a cigar in the nation's second-largest municipality is now under threat.

The Los Angeles Business Journal reported yesterday that L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks will propose legislation tomorrow that would ban smoking on restaurant patios, outside of office buildings, in hotel lobbies and most other public areas. A spokesperson for Parks confirmed the councilman's intentions to Cigar Aficionado.

If such a measure is approved, L.A. will become the largest city in the country to adopt a comprehensive ban. Other California cities, such as Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas and Santa Monica, have already imposed broad restrictions on smoking in public.

Los Angeles has been a relatively friendly place for smoking. Except for parks and beaches, smoking is allowed in any area considered outdoors. Many restaurants and clubs have created patios, some of them almost fully enclosed, and have welcomed smokers. Some downtown clubs have outdoor cigar patios.

Under the proposal to be made by Parks, citizens breaking the law could be fined. The ban, said a Parks spokesperson, was based on health concerns.

Parks, a former L.A. police chief, is running for county supervisor this year.

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