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Butt Out in Beverly Hills: Smoking Ban in Place Today

For all those who love to smoke and eat in the the great outdoors of Beverly Hills, today is the day where it all ends. According to KABC, the smoking ban that the city council voted for in June, "applies to all outdoor dining areas, including restaurants located in hotels and within five feet of an open-air dining area. However, hotels with pool areas where food or beverages are served can designate up to 25 percent of the deck area for smoking." Technically, for those who light up the first fine is $100, then $200 for a second offense within one year, and $500 for each violation within one year, but most people will probably just be asked to ditch the torch before they're fined. Good thing cigarettes are banned from places like The Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. There's nothing like that noxious blend of toxic tobacco and heavy car fumes.

The Beverly Hills Restaurant Association says the ban will hurt business. But Peter Garland, owner of Porta Via on Canon Drive, doesn't think so. He told us that at first he didn't agree with it, but then realized that not as many people smoke anymore: "I think ultimately it will affect people better than worse. It makes sense at a bar, but not in a restaurant." The Bev Hills mayor and city council members will be tooting their own horns at a media event at Porta Via tomorrow.
· Beverly Hills Outdoor Dining Smoking Ban Starts Monday [KABC]
· Beverly Hills to Apporve Smoking Ban at Restaurants [~ELA~]

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