Smoke-Free Outdoor Dining Law Begins Thursday

The smoke-free outdoor dining law goes into effect Thursday. The law will prohibit smoking in outdoor seating areas where food is served, such as restaurants or bar patios. Adam Zimmerman, Rockville resident and smoke-free advocate, believes that the law only makes sense for the area.

“The vast majority of county residents are nonsmokers and research says that the law doesn’t hurt restaurants profits. In fact, it helps them.”

Thanks to Zimmerman, a similar law has already been in place in Rockville for two years. Now he is excited to see the change county-wide.

“We know from Rockville that the law becomes part of the fabric of the community quickly,” said Zimmerman. “Of course, there are enforcement measures and fines for repeated offenses, but it rarely gets that far as long as there is good signage and awareness of the rule. It’s an easy rule for people to follow because it’s no different from expectations for indoor areas, and as time goes on, more and more people get used to the idea of it.”

Zimmerman foresees that the law will benefit everyone in the county, especially restaurant servers.

“I’m motivated by making sure that clean air is available to everyone in the county, from residents to visitors to employees. I say that as a former restaurant server –  it is so much better for their health to not be breathing in secondhand smoke, wherever they are.”

The law is supported by Council Vice President Sidney Katz.

Related Articles:

Montgomery County Passes Smoking Ban in Outdoor Seating Areas

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Abigail Brooke

About Abigail Brooke

Abigail Brooke is a Journalism and Emerging Media major at Eastern University. She has worked in news media for two years. She can be reached at


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