The Palo Alto City Council expanded its existing smoking ban on Monday night, voting to make it illegal to light up in the city’s commercial areas, which include the downtown area and Stanford Shopping Center, as well as dining areas.

As with other things in the high-priced city in Silicon Valley, fines for violators aren’t cheap; the first one will cost $250, while a second comes with a $300 price tag, according to the proposal.

Previously, the ban limited smoking to a minimum distance of 25 feet from the doorway of a business.

Electronic cigarettes had also been in the proposal, but were removed after the council decided more study and discussion about the health effects of those devices was needed, according to

The proposal has been in the works since at least June. The city has banned smoking in parks since October 2013.

Palo Alto is located in Santa Clara County in the southern Bay Area and is home to more than 66,000 residents.

Avatar photo

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.