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Newport Beach : Anti-Smoking Ordinance Up for Final Approval

Newport Beach’s anti-smoking ordinance, tentatively approved by the City Council at its last meeting, will come up for a final vote Monday night.

The ordinance would become effective July 24, making Newport Beach the second city in Orange County to adopt such a law. In February, Laguna Beach adopted a smoking ordinance, and two weeks ago, the county Board of Supervisors approved a ban on smoking in county buildings.

Under the proposed ordinance, restaurants with capacities for more than 50 customers would be required to set aside 25% of their floor space for non-smokers. In a letter last Monday to Mayor Philip Maurer, the Newport Beach Restaurant Assn. had asked the council to make that provision voluntary.

“We are the ones who know our clientele best and are the most qualified to adjust the non-smoking areas in our restaurants,” the letter stated. " . . . Hard-and-fast rules will not be the panacea for non-smokers.”

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The measure would require businesses to prohibit smoking in work areas if even one employee requested it and to expand no-smoking areas if complaints continued.

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


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