The City Council Tuesday gave final approval to a substantially scaled-down version of its tough smoking ordinance, which originally required expensive ventilation systems in most large restaurants.
The revised law requires that only restaurants opening after Jan. 1, 1989, must install the ventilation systems. All restaurants, however, must set aside at least 60% of dining areas for nonsmokers. The original law required at least 50% of seats for nonsmokers.
The revised law, which was introduced at a City Council meeting last week, also eliminates the requirement for "air curtains" to keep smoke out of nonsmoking areas in large restaurants without walls between smoking and nonsmoking sections.
The law that was passed Tuesday is the second major revision of what was once one of the toughest smoking ordinances in the nation. When it was first approved in April, 1987, the law prohibited smoking in all restaurants seating more than 50 customers.