The Fiesta Cantina is one of the businesses in West Hollywood that would be affected by the ban on smoking on patios. (photo by Anna Bakalis)
The West Hollywood City Council is still deliberating on a more restrictive smoking policy, which could mean no more smoking on restaurant patios in the city.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council directed staff to return to the task force, made up of business and community members, about how the ordinance should be structured and implemented. Fines could be included as enforcement measures.
While bars and nightclubs may continue to allow outdoor smoking, smoke-free buffer zones between five and 20 feet could be applied. There are concerns that a smoking ban could negatively impact restaurants and hotels, as customers would be “driven away to cities where smoking is still allowed”, according to the report. Conferences and events that draw large numbers of people to the city would also be impacted, especially when it comes to European visitors who are more likely to smoke.
The purpose of the more prohibitive ordinance, city officials said, is to minimize the risk of exposure to secondhand smoke and to improve the quality of life.
In June, the Los Angles County Department of Public Health released a health report that said West Hollywood has the fourth-highest smoking rate of the 81 cities in the county and 32 unincorporated communities.
West Hollywood has prohibited smoking in public places and workplaces since 1986.