Garland Bans Smoking in All Public Restaurants, But Updated Ordinance Exempts Private Clubs

In a split decision, the Garland City Council updated its smoking ordinance Tuesday night by banning smoking in all public restaurants. However, instead of approving a comprehensive, citywide smoke-free plan as proposed a month ago, council members exempted the city's handful of private clubs."We are in many respects talking about bringing Garland a little bit out of the Stone Age," council member Rich Aubin said before the 6-3 vote. "We are the only city in the metroplex that permits smoking in restaurants from the ones we surveyed. We need to get with the times."But Mayor Douglas Athas, who voted with council members Jerry Nickerson and Robert John Smith against the change, said that the current ordinance had served Garland well and that being like other cities was of no concern."I do not smoke. I do not like being around smoke," the mayor said. "But on the other side of it, as long as I can go places where I am not personally required to breathe other people's smoke, then my liberties have not been challenged."   Continue reading...

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