Galveston Bans Smoking, Even in Tobacco Shops

Galveston's smoking ban goes into effect Jan. 1

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El Tekolote via Flickr

The Galveston City Council has adopted a smoking ban that forbids lighting up in bars, restaurants, private clubs and even tobacco stores.

The ordinance, affecting public locations, was adopted Thursday and will take effect Jan. 1.

The Galveston County Daily News reported Friday that the ordinance is more restrictive than the regulations the council previously discussed, a compromise that guaranteed its passage.

Several restaurateurs and business groups who opposed a similar smoking ban proposed in 2006 said they would support it this time as long as it put all businesses on a level playing field.

They lobbied against giving an exception to private clubs, saying it would provide a loophole for unfair competition from anyone who opted to run what was really a for-profit business as a members-only establishment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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