Starting today, smokers in Alameda are going to find the places they can light up much more limited.
A law takes effect today that cuts back the public locations and places of employment where smoking is legally allowed. The banned areas include any commercial-area sidewalks, including downtown shopping and business areas, and any outdoor seating at restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
It will also include public events like farmers markets and fairs, and any parks, trails, sports fields or beaches.
Tobacco shops themselves are also included in the ban, including hookah bars, bars where visitors smoke fruit-flavored sweet tobacco called "shisha."
It is also now illegal to smoke within 20 feet of any doors or windows of enclosed areas, including the balconies and porches of multi-unit rental complexes.
For housing complexes, designated smoking areas can be established. Landlords are required to prominently post no smoking signs and to remove ashtrays from any areas where smoking is now prohibited.