No More Smoking in Fort Worth Bars, Bingo Parlors After City Officials Tighten Ban

Attention, smokers: Starting in March, you can't light up at Fort Worth bars or bingo parlors anymore.Yes, that also includes e-cigarettes.You can still smoke in outdoor dining areas and patios, as long as they're more than 20 feet from the bar's primary entrance or working windows.Fort Worth already has an ordinance that prohibits smoking in restaurants and their respective bars, businesses and office buildings. However, bars and bingo parlors had been excluded from the 2007 ban.By tightening its rules, Fort Worth has joined Dallas in extinguishing smoking in most public places. The Fort Worth City Council voted 8-1 on Tuesday to pass the ban, which also blocks retail smoke shops from opening within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals.Sharon Ives, whose business handles bookkeeping for seven bingo parlors in Fort Worth, warned the city officials that a ban would hurt the parlors, including those that are charities. She said the bingo parlors are already taking a hit from the competition against casinos in Oklahoma."Don't allow the surrounding cities that allow smoking in their bingo halls to take our customers away," Ives said at a council meeting Tuesday.Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said in an editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the motivation behind the ordinance is to protect the health of workers and business patrons."Our current policy that allows for smoking in these areas makes Fort Worth exceptional -- and not in a good way," Price wrote. "Not only are we one of the few remaining major U.S. cities that allow smoking in bars, Fort Worth going smoke-free would also make all the largest cities in Texas smoke-free."  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us