SANTA MONICA MOVES TO STRENGTHEN NO-SMOKING LAWS
December 12, 2007
The Santa Monica City Council last night directed the City Attorney’s Office to prepare an ordinance that would make business owners criminally liable for knowingly or intentionally allowing customers to smoke at outdoor dining areas. The Council requested that the proposed new ordinance also prohibit smoking anywhere on the grounds of Santa Monica libraries.
The Council indicated its support of additional funding for a marketing, signage and education campaign to implement its outdoor smoking policies.
In addition, the Council asked the City Attorney to return with information on the following issues:
The City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit had recommended that the Council expand liability to business owners who condone smoking at outdoor dining areas, after it was learned that many local restaurants still are allowing the illegal behavior by their patrons. Current local law places fines on smokers in such situations, but not business owners.
The City Council heard testimony from patrons and employees of restaurants who described the continued violations at outdoor dining areas and the difficulties they experienced in trying to persuade smokers to stop when the businesses would not do so. Community members and the local Chamber of Commerce also testified about the need for educational efforts.
The City Attorney’s Office will now prepare an ordinance for Council’s consideration and will report back with the requested information early next year.
Santa Monica law currently prohibits smoking in the following locations:
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