Duarte : Smoking Ban Coming?

Smoking in most public places may soon become extinct if Duarte, which bills itself as the "City of Health," has its way.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 4 to 1 to direct the city attorney to study ways of expanding the city's nonsmoking ordinance, using as a model a tough nonsmoking ordinance in San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo prohibits all smoking in restaurants, bars and stores, but Duarte currently allows smoking areas in restaurants and bars, and places no restrictions on smoking in retail areas.

Councilman John Hitt, who requested the study, said he would like to outlaw smoking altogether in restaurants smaller than 2,500 square feet, and to decrease the size of smoking sections in bigger establishments.

Councilman James Kirchner, who cast the negative vote, said the San Luis Obispo ordinance was too restrictive.

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