Denton Restaurant Smoking Ban Takes Effect

Businesses have 30 days to get in compliance

By Brian Scott
|  Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013  |  Updated 7:03 PM CDT
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Denton's smoking ban in restaurants, bowling alleys and pool halls went into effect Wednesday. Businesses have 30 days to comply with the ordinance before enforcement begins.

Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter

Denton's smoking ban in restaurants, bowling alleys and pool halls went into effect Wednesday. Businesses have 30 days to comply with the ordinance before enforcement begins.

Denton's smoking ban went into effect Wednesday.

The city ordinance, which was passed in December, bans smoking in restaurants, bowling alleys and pool halls. Outdoor patios, bars, tobacco shops, tobacco and cigar bars and fraternal organizations are excluded.

Businesses have 30 days to comply with the ban and display the proper signs before enforcement begins.

Tim Trawick, operations partner at the downtown Abbey Inn, said many area restaurants already outlaw smoking.

"I don't anticipate my business changing, and I don't know that anybody else does either," he said. "It's been my experience that bars are definitely an area where smokers hang out, so I think I can appreciate they made a concession for bar owners."

"It was debated a little bit at the beginning because we weren't sure if we were going to be more on the bar side ... but it's worked out for us," he said.

But not everyone is sold on the ban.

"It's not so bad if it's just in the restaurants," Lyn Gano said. "I just kind of hate to see government and people just start taking away personal freedoms in general."

County and state health leaders were in Denton Wednesday to meet with city leaders to educate on the dangers of tobacco and how to help smokers who want to quit.

Julie Wright, county health education specialist, said several Denton County cities have smoking ordinances.

"We hope, like other cities who have passed them, we will see a decrease in hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease, stroke, COPD," she said.

Texas Department of State Health Services representatives are traveling Texas in support of a statewide indoor smoking ban like already exist in many other states.

The Denton City Council passed the smoking ban on Dec. 18 after a citizen committee helped craft the measure.

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