Arlington Considers Expanding Smoking Ban

Farther-Reaching Ban Would Cover More Businesses, Rangers Ballpark

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Arlington is considering expanding its current smoking ban to include nightclubs, bowling alleys, pool halls and Rangers Ballpark. (Published Friday, Sep 7, 2012)

    If you're a smoker, you have to check the habit at the door at restaurants and in public facilities in Arlington under the current smoking ordinance, but the city is considering expanding it to include nightclubs, bowling alleys, pool halls and Rangers Ballpark.

    The current ban includes Cowboys Stadium. Councilman Robert Rivera says it only makes sense that it would also include the city's other stadium.

    "With it being a city of Arlington government facility just like our parks and other city municipal buildings then by definition it should also be a smoke-free building," said Councilman Rivera.

    He added that the smoke-free atmosphere would not only be good for health, but good for business, making Arlington more competitive with other cities.

    "Austin, Dallas, San Antonio – these are cities that have embraced a smoke-free environment where the visitors that go to those cities are able to experience that quality of clean air," said Rivera.

    But some businesses say it would actually make them less competitive.

    "If it was a state-wide ban, then that puts everybody back on the same playing field. If Arlington goes non-smoking then we'll lose our customers to Fort Worth or the surrounding suburbs and cities," said Jeff Pitts, General Manager at Rusty's Billiards in Arlington.

    Pitts says business should have a choice and so should customers.

    "As our business goes, you have to be 18 or older to even be in the place. So, with that, people know what they're getting in to," he said.

    The city council is expected to take up the issue again in the coming weeks.