Like it or not, Hermosa Beach is kicking the habit. A smoking ban is now the law of the land.
The ban forbids smoking on the pier, in public parks, outdoor dining areas, and the center of the downtown commercial district. It even bans restaurants from giving out matchbooks.
“The small minority who smoke in public places threatens the health and safety of the majority of our residents, visitors and workers who don’t smoke,” Hermosa Beach Mayor Howard Fishman said in a statement.
About 17 percent of Hermosa Beach residents are smokers, according to the LA County Public Health Department. That's one of the highest percentages in the county.
Some bar and restaurant owners are concerned about the large number of visitors who flock to this beach city on the weekends.
“When the government starts telling you what you can do, they're regulating business away from you,” said one restaurant owner.
The new anti-smoking ordinance carries fines from $100 to $500, and the city can issue criminal misdemeanor complaints after the third ticket.
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