The Antelope Valley Mall this week will join the growing list of regional shopping malls that have banned smoking. Sort of.
Smoking will continue to be allowed in a portion of the mall’s food court, a collection of fast-food restaurants bordering a large seating area, and at a chain restaurant inside the shopping center.
Mall Manager Brian Pearson said the decision was made to ban smoking in most of the 1-million-square-foot mall in response to complaints from nonsmoking shoppers and studies on the effects of secondhand smoke.
Earlier this month, smoking was banned at six San Fernando Valley malls: The Promenade at Woodland Hills, Fallbrook Mall in Canoga Park, Northridge Fashion Center, Panorama Mall in Panorama City, Topanga Plaza in Woodland Hills and the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Numerous other Southland malls earlier adopted no-smoking policies.
The ban at the Antelope Valley Mall is scheduled to take effect Friday, the mall’s third anniversary.
Mall spokeswoman Ruth Ann Moore said the ban has received praise from most shoppers.
Once the no-smoking signs are posted Friday, Moore said, mall security will be giving “friendly reminders” to people who light up.
If the ban is well-received, Moore said, mall management will consider extending it to include the food court.