In an effort to protect the health of county residents, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to update local ordinances to address the emerging threats to public health posed by electronic cigarettes and cannabis.
“Pollutants from e-cigarettes and cannabis can cause health problems, not only for users but also for those exposed to secondhand smoke,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion.
“It’s time to extend the current safeguards that apply to tobacco so that they also apply to vaping and recreational cannabis in order to protect the health of the restaurant-going public as well as our 100,000 strong county workforce, and the millions of men, women and children who come to county buildings for services,” Kuehl said.
The change will prohibit smoking, including tobacco, e-cigarettes and cannabis, at all outdoor dining areas of restaurants and bars in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and on the periphery of any county facility.
The ordinance will apply to an estimated 825 restaurants, nearly 20 percent of which have outdoor dining areas. The new rules are expected to be adopted early next year. The county’s Department of Public Health will notify restaurants at that time.
“Nothing is more important to me than the health and safety of LA County residents,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, co-author of the motion. “By closing loopholes of smoke-free zones in unincorporated LA County, modernizing the definition of ‘smoking’ to reflect the use of cannabis and e-smoking devices, and curbing the uses of smoking products in public spaces, LA County residents are better able to enjoy cleaner, healthier air. No one should have to worry about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke while walking to school or work, or enjoying a meal in a restaurant.”
Read the Board’s letter here.