City Council votes to update smoking ordinance

The City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking in bars and bingo parlors as well as prohibiting retail smoke shops within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals.

“Fort Worth joins all other major Texas cities in going smoke-free,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “Fort Worth has made great strides in health and wellness, with many of our initiatives receiving national attention. The adoption of this ordinance, which will go into effect in 90 days, is another step forward in creating a healthier environment for all of Fort Worth — from workers to patrons, musicians to expecting mothers.”

This was the first update to the city’s smoking ordinance since 2008. The new law also governs the use of e-cigarettes in prohibited locations.

The new ordinance continues to allow smoking in outdoor dining areas and patios of public places as long as the area is at least 20 feet from entrances and exits. Smoking in private clubs will still be allowed.

The new ordinance prohibits retail smoke shops within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals. A retail smoke shop is defined as a business that earns 90 percent of its gross annual sales from tobacco, smoking and e-cigarette products.

Smoking in cigar lounges, defined as a business that earns 30 percent of its gross annual sales from cigars and cigar accessories, will be allowed.

The updated ordinance goes into effect March 12, 2018.

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