No Smoking in Outdoor Cafes Please

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to expand a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas, though the ordinance -- which still requires the mayor's signature -- will not be enforced for a year.

The ordinance makes it illegal to puff on a cigarette within a 10-foot radius of a dining establishment. That means restaurants' outdoor patios and doorways would be off-limits to smokers starting in February 2011.

The measure also bans smoking within a 40-foot radius of a mobile food truck, food cart or food kiosk. Bars and nightclubs that require patrons to be 18 or older would be exempt.

The city currently bans smoking at its beaches and parks, as well as within 25 feet of playgrounds, bleachers, sports fields and picnic areas.

Councilman Greig Smith said he authored the ordinance in part because he has a severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke, and because his son had asthma as a child.

"That's what kind of brought it home to me that this was necessary," he said.

The council gave restaurants a one-year grace period to educate patrons about the new rules. Once that expires, restaurant operators will have to enforce the smoking ban themselves.

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