A majority of the City Council indicated in debate Tuesday that they favor an anti-smoking ordinance that would cover restaurants and work places.
The way for approval was cleared when the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce abandoned opposition to any anti-smoking ordinance, saying that even a strict no-smoking proposal from city staff might be acceptable if revised. Council deferred action until Nov. 17, while staff works on areas that concerned the chamber and some council members.
The issues include the percentage of seats in a restaurant that are to be set aside for non-smokers, whether restaurateurs have had sufficient input and whether non-smokers' rights should prevail over smokers' in a work place dispute--as suggested in the ordinance.
Daniel J. McClain, vice president and general manager of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, said Torrance's major employers prefer to settle disputes between non-smokers and smokers by trying to accommodate both sides, instead of being forced to favor the non-smoker.
The council rejected a suggestion from Councilman Tim Mock that the city's Environmental Quality Commission review the ordinance.