Santa Barbara police and volunteer downtown ambassadors are still in the warn-and-educate phase of enforcing the city’s new smoking ban, which went into effect 9/15. It also restricts vaping and covers virtually every square inch of public space, including sidewalks, parks, beaches, and so on. Tickets cost $155. So far, only two have been written, said Sergeant Joshua Morton, who explained public smokers comply “99 percent” of the time they’re approached. Most were simply unaware of the new law, he said. The ban doesn’t apply to private parking lots or the patio areas of bars and restaurants that allow smoking. The City Administrator’s assistant, Nina Johnson, said many other cities throughout California have enacted similar ordinances without adverse impacts to tourism.


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