Smoking ban begins at Sonoma County outdoor restaurant areas

Beginning today, smoking is prohibited in outdoor restaurant and bar areas that fall within the jurisdiction of Sonoma County.

The new rule is part of a larger anti-smoking package that seeks to bring the county in line with cities such as Santa Rosa and Sebastopol that have strict smoking prohibitions.

"This is part of envisioning Sonoma County as one of the healthiest places to live, work and play," said Lynn Silver Chalfin, the county's new health officer.

"It means that you will be able to go out to dinner, a picnic or celebration and not be exposed to second-hand smoke."

The areas affected are outside the boundaries of the county's nine cities and include large swaths of Wine Country, along with smaller communities of Kenwood, Boyes Hot Springs, Bodega, Bodega Bay, Guerneville, Forestville and Graton.

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