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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Increasing Compliance With Smoking Ban Found

October 28, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Local bars and restaurants are increasingly in compliance with California's smoke-free workplace law, and even most smokers now see the ban as a good idea.

Those were among the key findings released this week from two surveys conducted at the behest of Los Angeles County. Both surveys looked at local effects of the 1995 statewide workplace smoking ban. The law was designed to protect the health of patrons and employees.

The news is very encouraging, according to health officials and lawmakers, who added there is no evidence that the smoking ban has reduced revenues at eating and drinking establishments.

"The only business losing is the tobacco business, and for that I say, 'God Bless America,' " said county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

One survey, based on county health inspectors' visits to more than 600 sites, found that about nine of 10 establishments with liquor licenses were complying with the law.

A separate survey commissioned by the county found a substantial increase among smokers supporting nonsmoking environments for public eating and drinking. More than nine of 10 smokers interviewed last year agreed it is important to have smoke-free restaurants. Almost 60% called smoke-free bars and nightclubs a good idea.

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