DOWNTOWN — While they’ll still have to spend time enforcing the law, restaurant owners will not have to spend a dime on materials meant to help keep their patios and dining areas free of cigarette smoke.

That’s because City Hall is distributing hundreds of “tool kits” to business owners — with a focus on restaurants — that include window clings, patio signs, tip cards in five languages and posters reminding customers of the city’s strict anti-smoking laws, which prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas as well as within 20 feet of business entryways.

Smoking is also prohibited on the Third Street Promenade, Farmers’ Markets, the beach and public parks.

City Hall, with the help of marketing consultant Southard Communications, created 500 kits featuring the “Smoking Doesn’t Belong Here,” campaign and are passing them out to business owners. The kits are also available at the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, located on Sixth Street.

Restaurant owners and others can also order aluminum patio signs by contacting (310) 453-5701.

“We want to do everything we can to make things easier for our businesses to make the law clear and to help them enforce the law,” said Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky of the Consumer Protection Unit, which drafted the smoking bans.

“These kits will be very helpful for giving out information to customers,” he added.

Restaurant owners can be held liable if they knowingly allow customers to smoke while dining. The fine is $100 for a first offense, however, that can jump to roughly $300 with court costs factored in.

While the liability provision was approved by the City Council last year, it has not been enforced, Radinsky said.

“{We’ve] been holding off until the publicity materials were ready to be distributed,” he said.

The 500 kits were printed at Green Printing Inc. on Pico Boulevard on 100 percent recycled paper at a cost of $4,500. The 9-by-12-inch aluminum patio signs were created at a cost of $2,000. Buying fonts and the images for the materials cost $2,500 and developing the marketing campaign cost $25,000, according to Southard Communications.

The kits and materials are being offered free of charge. Business owners can go to www.smokingdoesntbelonghere.com to print additional copies of materials in the tool kits.

Businesses originally called for a comprehensive marketing campaign to help spread the word about the smoking laws, particularly since Santa Monica is a popular tourist destination. Restaurateurs were especially concerned given that they could be held liable.

“It’s important that the message has been conversational in nature and doesn’t make smokers feel unwelcome,” said Brian Chase, the governmental affairs director for the chamber. “We were very vocal in the development of the campaign.

“Again, we don’t want customers to feel unwelcome.”

kevinh@smdp.com