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Outdoor dining smoking ban takes effect in LA

March 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Smokers in Los Angeles are no longer allowed to light up while dining outside.

A new smoke-free outdoor dining law took effect in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The state already prohibits lighting up inside restaurants and bars. Now the city has expanded its smoking ban to within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas, including food courts, and within 40 feet of food kiosks, food cars and mobile food trucks.

Diners and businesses that violate the ban face fines of up to $500.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the city is setting a standard for healthy living.

The L.A. City Council approved the smoking ban in January 2010, but businesses were given a grace period before the ordinance took effect.

According to L.A. County health officials, 86 percent of county residents are non-smokers, but tobacco-related diseases still cost the county $4.3 billion per year.

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