Come Sunday, smoking in outdoor dining areas and other public spaces will be prohibited in West Hollywood.
The City Council voted in February to within five feet of outdoor areas, including restaurant patios, cafes and food courts, and other outside common areas. The law takes effect on New Year's Day.
The council’s justification for the ordinance is that secondhand smoke poses a health risk to all those exposed to it. West Hollywood is Los Angeles County’s third-most affected region, with 19.6 percent of the population identifying as smokers, according to a city statement.
The ban first came before the council in December 2009. It was pulled from the consent calendar and discussed at length, leading to the creation of the —made up of residents and public health advocates, as well as representatives from the business community and nonprofit organizations.
Smoking would still be permitted at nightclubs and bars with designated smoking areas. Hookah bars temporarily would be allowed to operate on patios, but the council's discussion favored ultimately banning hookah businesses in the future. The ordinance would not apply to residential areas.
The smoking ordinance requires businesses to submit a Smoking Operations Plan for city review. Smoking cessation programs will be offered in the New Year to residents through the city’s Social Services Division.
West Hollywood Patch coverage of the smoking ban: