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Alhambra : Smoking Ban Concept OKd

The City Council has approved in concept a smoking ban in city buildings and certain public areas in private facilities such as elevators and restrooms.

By voting 5-0 in favor of a smoking ban last week, the City Council paved the way for a citywide smoking-ban ordinance that will probably be introduced in late January, according to City Manager Kevin Murphy.

By first approving a ban in concept, the City Council set the scene for talks on the issue between the city and four unions representing 325 city employees, Murphy said.

The city will also consult the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce for the reaction of business owners to a proposed ban, he added.

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Under the proposal, employers with more than five employees must provide a smoke-free work area if an employee asks for it. The employer must also designate no-smoking sections in employee lounges and cafeterias that seat 10 or more persons.

In restaurants with seating capacity of 40 or more, at least 50% of the seating area must be nonsmoking. Smoking is prohibited in smaller restaurants.

Facilities exempted from a no-smoking ordinance will include bars, banquet rooms for private gatherings and private homes used as offices.

Violators may be fined from $50 to $250.

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