Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

City Smoking Ban Starts Today.(Final)

Byline: Barbara Chavez Journal Staff Writer

Some Restaurants Jumped the Gun

No harm, no foul.

That's what city officials are telling some Albuquerque restaurants that began enforcing a nonsmoking ban six days before it was official.

Today is the first day of the new Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, which updates a 1989 Clean Indoor Air Act. The old law established smoking and nonsmoking areas in restaurants, and the new law bans smoking in restaurants altogether.

Some restaurant owners began placing signs in their windows, removing ashtrays from tables and doing away with their smoking areas on Friday, thinking the ban had taken affect.

"I talked to some restaurant owners who thought it started Friday to see if they were affected in any way, and they said that (enforcing the ban early) was not a problem," said Carol Wight, executive vice president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association. …

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