Nobody Smokes in L.A., Even on the Patio


In news that falls in the makes-me-scream-obscenities-at-the-office category, my late, great hometown of Los Angeles has just voted to ban smoking on restaurant patios. Where, one might point out, there ARE NO CEILINGS. God, who invented both the margarita and the patio (and California), was at press time weeping for a simpler age. When, among other things, men spelled their first names right:

Photo of an angry God by Robert Gauthier, L.A. Times

Councilman Greig Smith said he proposed the measure more than a year ago after noticing that he was often choked up after being forced to walk through smoking patios to get inside his favorite restaurants — a practice that he said was particularly dangerous to children.

"We have an opportunity, folks, to extend and continue the great fight to get people out of the habit of smoking, to continue to protect the public health, which is really one of our main focuses and our responsibilities," said Smith, who added he was contacted by members of the Legislature and officials in cities who hope to adopt similar measures.

The city already bars smoking at parks, beaches and within 25 feet from playgrounds, sports fields and picnic areas. No one appeared at the meeting to oppose the extended ban. But the ordinance was roundly praised by representatives from groups including the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Assn. and California's Clean Air Project, as well as downtown resident Peggy Moore.

In related news, Southern California is being pummeled by biblical rainstorms.

Reason TV on ridiculous California smoking bans below: