The City Council on Wednesday passed a law that will virtually eliminate outdoor alcohol and tobacco advertising in Los Angeles.
In a hearing attended by hundreds of elementary and high-school students as well as lawyers for the beer, billboard advertising and tobacco industries and advocates for grocers' associations, the City Council unanimously voted a ban encompassing billboards, grocery store windows and other outdoor venues within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and residential areas.The ban, one of the most restrictive in the nation, will practically remove alcohol and tobacco advertisements from an estimated 98 percent of the city's billboards. About one-fourth of the land in industrial areas will still be allowed to carry such advertisements.
"Colleagues, we have a simple choice before us," Councilman Mike Feuer, who sponsored the measure. "Are we going to put our kids first or are we going to put alcohol, tobacco and billboard companies first?"
Officials said they fully expected the city to be sued over the law, which will take effect one year after it is signed by Mayor Richard Riordan, who has voiced support for the measure.
Students who spoke at the hearing said the companies were targeting them - especially in minority communities.