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Newport Beach : Council Acts on Smoking, Massage Parlor Issues

A proposed ordinance restricting smoking in public places in Newport Beach is scheduled for a final vote by the City Council on June 24.

The measure, which would require restaurants to allocate 25% of their serving areas to non-smokers, was tentatively approved Monday by the council on a 4-0 vote.

In addition, businesses would be required to prohibit smoking in work areas if an employee requests such action and also would have to expand a no-smoking area if a problem persists.

Smoking would be illegal during indoor public meetings, and in elevators, restrooms, theaters and auditoriums. Violators could be fined $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $250 for successive infractions within a single year.

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Last February, Laguna Beach approved a tough ordinance that requires businesses to adopt written smoking rules, designate work areas as off-limits to smokers and give non-smokers final say in disputes with co-workers who smoke. Currently, several cities in Orange County are considering adopting anti-smoking laws.

The Newport Beach City Council also gave final approval to an ordinance regulating massage parlors.

The ordinance was drafted during a 45-day moratorium on massage-parlor openings that was imposed in April after police arrested a dozen prostitution suspects in a sweep of the city’s massage parlors.

Under the ordinance’s provisions, massage establishments in Newport Beach will be required to close between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., and must carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance.

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