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Councilmember Katz Proposes Outdoor Smoking Ban at Bars and Restaurants

If the Montgomery County Council passes newly introduced legislation, it will outlaw smoking at all areas of a restaurant or bar in the County. The new Bill 35-18, which is sponsored by District 3 Councilmember Sydney Katz, and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Craig Rice and Marc Elrich, and Council President Hans Riemer, would make it illegal to smoke even in outdoor areas of bars and restaurants.

The legislation would regulate smoking in any outdoor serving area which “means a patio, deck, porch, or other outdoor seating or serving area, whether partially enclosed or open to the sky, that is permitted for outdoor eating or drinking under the control of an eating or drinking establishment.” The goal of this bill is to protect the health of residents, according to a County press release.

The new legislation states that “a person must not smoke in or on any “outdoor serving area, except while actively passing on the way to another destination.” That clause allows for passersby to continue smoking as the walk past dinners eating al fresco.

The law would include both tobacco smoking and vaping.

Bill 35-18 will have a public hearing later this month. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 1:30 pm.

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