City News Service

LA County Expands Ban on Smoking in Unincorporated Areas, Includes E-Cigarettes, Cannabis

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance Tuesday expanding prohibitions on smoking on county property and in and around bars and restaurants in unincorporated areas, also making clear that smoking includes e-cigarettes and cannabis.

The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who championed the effort to update county codes, said last week the ordinance was written to cover yet-to-be-developed technologies that deliver nicotine, cannabis or tobacco.

"Rules regarding cigarettes and cigarette-like products have not been significantly updated in a very long time. No doubt, future entrepreneurs will invent new ways to smoke, and, rather than specifically update our ordinances each time, we have written this ordinance so that the rules protecting public health should not need updating again," Kuehl said.

The ordinance aims to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, which is implicated in the deaths of 41,000 Americans annually, said Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer.

"There's no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,'' Ferrer said when the ordinance was first introduced.

In unincorporated areas, the ordinance prohibits smoking on public beaches, in public elevators, at bus stops, in museums and libraries and the public areas of theaters. The ban also applies within 25 feet of outdoor seating areas of bars and restaurants.

Smoking will also be banned at all county parks with exceptions for actors and models during production.

The no-smoking zone extends 50 feet from the entrance of any county building, in county parking facilities and at the driving range or outdoor eating areas of all county golf courses. All county vehicles will be non-smoking.

The board adopted the ordinance without comment.

Existing code sets fines of $10 to $100 for smoking in a posted no-smoking area.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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