D.C. Council Votes to Expand Smoking Ban
WASHINGTON -- Lighting up in restaurants and bars would become illegal in the nation's capital under a smoking ban approved Tuesday by the city council, a move the mayor warned would send residents and tourists across the Potomac River to dine in more len
He urged the District of Columbia Council to loosen restrictions on restaurants when it takes its final vote on the matter. The council on Tuesday gave the measure its preliminary approval by a vote of 12-1, but it must also take a final vote.
The measure would end smoking in most indoor locations in the tourist-rich city, including restaurants, bars and nightclubs, beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Those establishments are exempted under the current law that outlaws smoking in most office buildings.
Under the new law, the only exemptions would be cigar bars, hotel rooms, retail tobacco outlets, outdoor dining areas and medical research institutions, according to Councilman David M. Catania, an independent.