The City of Denton is considering a smoking ban in public places, and the smoke-free discussion is heating up. The city still allows smoking in restaurants, bars, and some work places, but Denton residents are calling for change.
"We have been open for 13 years, and this [smoking indoors] has been the case since day one. The City of Denton still allows it," GreenHouse Restaurant and Bar general manager Nicole Probst said.
Now, some city council members want to change the rules. Council member Gregory Dalton said it's time Denton adopts a smoke-free ordinance that would ban smoking in the work place.
"I think it is very surprising that we haven't done it, and embarrassing," Gregory said. "It has not been successful yet at the state-level, but a lot of communities around us have gone ahead and passed workplace smoking bans. The citizens here are asking more and more and more."
Supporters said a ban would protect patrons and employees from second-hand smoke. Still, restraurants and bars like GreenHouse are unsure about a city-wide ban.
"I strongly support a state-wide ban because everyone is playing on the same playing field. City-wide ban gets a little funky," GreenHouse Restaurant and Bar owner Ken Currin said. "It makes it difficult for everybody to play the same game."
"We tried it for about a month and a half, and what happened is all of our guests ended up outside," Probst said.
The smoke-free debate is picking up speed and attention, but Denton city council members said it would be a month or two before they research a proposal and hold a discussion.