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City Votes to Ban Smoking in Outdoor Dining Areas

The new rules will apply to all unenclosed dining areas where food or drinks are served, including sidewalk cafés.

The Carlsbad City Council voted to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas as part of an update to the city’s ordinance covering smoking.

The City of Carlsbad adopted its current ordinance regulating smoking in public areas in 1983.

In 1988 the state of California enacted a law prohibiting smoking in all enclosed places of employment, and that ban covered indoor restaurants. The ban did not extend to outdoor or unenclosed dining areas. 

Local jurisdictions have the power to enact such a prohibition, if they elect to do so. The City of Carlsbad already bans smoking at beaches, lagoons and parks. 

Other cities in the county — Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, National City and Solana Beach — have enacted smoking bans in outdoor dining areas, and the proposed Carlsbad ordinance is modeled after those. 

The amendment to the ordinance changes Title 6 of the City of Carlsbad Municipal Code (Health and Sanitation) to enact the new ban, and would reflect the state’s existing ban on smoking in indoor restaurants. The ordinance was introduced Sept. 25 and will come before the City Council for adoption, currently scheduled for Oct. 2. The new ordinance will go into effect 30 days after its adoption.  At that time, dining establishments will be required to ban smoking in outdoor spaces where they serve food or drinks, and to post signs alerting patrons of the ban.

The new ordinance would also require smokers to stay at least 20 feet away from outdoor dining areas, to prevent second-hand smoke from affecting diners. 

Tobacco-related illnesses are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, resulting in 443,000 deaths each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Second-hand smoke is responsible for as many as 3,000 deaths from lung cancer, and 46,000 deaths from heart disease among nonsmokers nationwide each year, according to the CDC.

–City of Carlsbad

M Clark September 27, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I am so happy about this. This is a healthy thing for all. It's nice to know I will enjoy my Friday night out without smoke bellowing across my food or blowing inside from those standing just outside a doorway.
Thomas April 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM
I know a lot of people were having negative reactions to this but this is a good ‘green’ move by the city. To keep smoke away from non-smokers may be challenging, but hopefully more and more people will support this, smokers and non-smokers alike.
M Clark April 20, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Good attitude! The smokers should be thankful that we are extending their life expectancy by passing on a of those nicotine sticks.
RATSJ April 20, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Very happy to hear this!

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