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L.A. to ban smoking in all public places?

August 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Smoking is already banned in Los Angeles restaurants and bars, as well as parks and beaches. However, one Los Angeles City Council member wants to ban smoking from all public places, both inside and out.Lisa Jacobsen is a smoker. She says she gets the drift when it comes to smoking in public.

"It's very difficult to find a place to smoke. You feel like a leper these days trying to smoke in public," said Jacobsen.

There is a proposal in the works to widen existing smoking bans to occupied sidewalks, and apartment common areas, among others.

"Wherever people congregate, or there is an expectation of people being present, smoking should be prohibited," said L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks.

Parks says current restrictions are a patchwork put together by many city leaders.

"Greg Smith is talking specifically about parks, just as Jack Weiss talked specifically about beaches ... So we're saying there is a larger number of places, public places, where people congregate beyond these specific locations," said Parks.

Parks, who is also running for County Supervisor, is calling for a countywide measure for all unincorporated areas.

Parks favors a ban similar to Calabasas, where offenders are fined $500 and repeat offenders face jail time.

"Soon it is going to be you can't smoke in your house, you can't smoke in your apartment. When does it stop? When does it stop? When do we get a break?" asked smoker James Cygan.

"If I want to hurt myself, I'll hurt myself. But I don't want to hurt others, so, I think it's a good idea," said smoker Steve Waksman.

The proposal will be presented to the City Council on Friday.

 

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