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It is true that you can't smoke in public places in Los Angeles - even if they are outdoors

00:00 Mon 29th Oct 2001 |

asks MissDon:

A: Until now, Los Angeles smokers have been banned from smoking in certain indoor locations - at work, or in bars or restaurants. They were, however, allowed to have their sneaky cigs outdoors, which means you see a lot of people hanging around near restaurants (they're not allowed to stand near the doors) for that 'between courses' nicotine fix. And there can be more people standing outside bars smoking than sitting in them drinking.

But now even the outdoors is not safe...

Q. Why What's happened
A.
The Los Angeles City council is considering banishing smokers from its 200 public parks.

Q. What No dog ends littering the ground around the park benches and swings
A.
No. Not one.

Q. Isn't this move slightly ironic in a city where the inhabitants have to breathe filthy smog for months at a time
A.
Well, quite. Smokers' rights groups are furious, and consider this ban a step too far. They feel that smokers have been punished enough as it is.

Q. What with the lung cancer, and the coughing...

A. Exactly! And that this sort of treatment just vilifies them further.

Q. So what's the point of it
A.
Community leaders believe that there are benefits of the keeping-parks-puff-free bill.

Q. Such as
A.
Neighbourhood groups are keen on creating a healthy environment for children to play in and for people in general to enjoy their leisure time.


And the�council points out that going to a park is critical to the mental health of many residents, and they want to enjoy it without having to deal with the risks of passive smoking.

Q. But how can it be enforced What if someone just sneaks off into the trees for a quick puff
A.
Good question. And one many people are asking. Along with - why don't they do something about the smog instead

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