Smokers would be banned from lighting up on restaurant patios, outside office towers, in hotel lobbies and anywhere else in public in Los Angeles under an ordinance to be proposed Friday by Councilman Bernard Parks.

If the City Council approves the ordinance, L.A. would become the largest city in the U.S. to adopt a smoking ban for most public places, joining the cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas and Santa Monica. The ordinance would apply to public places where people can "reasonably congregate."

Those ordinances were passed over stiff opposition from local restaurants and business groups that claimed smoking patrons would avoid their cities. New York City has a smoking ban, but it only applies to restaurants and bars and some other public places.

Under Park's proposal, violators would face fines. However, enforcement would largely be left to citizens or establishment owners.

Smoking is already banned in L.A. city parks and on L.A. city beaches, where discarded cigarette butts had been considered a problem. The new ban would be justified on health grounds, a spokesman for Parks said.

Parks is in the midst of a hotly contested race for county supervisor. Spokesman Bernard Parks Jr. said the timing of the smoking proposal was not influenced by the campaign.

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