Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today signed into law the provision that bans smoking on restaurant outdoor patios, which city council voted unanimously to pass last week.
The ban will go into effect on March 8 and offers a one-year grace period for restaurants to comply with the law. A business found violating the ban can be fined up to $250.
The restrictions apply to all dining establishments in Los Angeles, adding to the list of Southern California municipalities in which finding a place to enjoy a cigar has become more challenging. Essentially, the new regulations prohibit smoking within 10 feet of the entrance to a restaurant's front door and dining areas. The law also bans smoking within 40 feet of the growing number of food trucks roaming the city streets, as well as food courts and kiosks.
The ordinance, though, does include some exemptions that were the result of a lobbying campaign spearheaded by Cigar Rights of America. The policy exempts cigar lounges and private functions. Also, restaurants that are able to become an after-hours lounge or bar via their City permit can allow outdoor smoking as long as all patrons are 18 years or older.
To find places in California, and elsewhere, where you can smoke, visit Cigar Bar Central.