By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
The Arlington City Council on Tuesday voted 7-2 to extend the North Texas city’s smoking regulations to include nightclubs, bowling centers and other workplaces. The only exception is bingo halls, which are not considered public businesses.
An exemption for e-cigarettes was added to the ordinance, and city officials agreed to reduce the mandatory 50-foot separation of smokers from a building’s working doors and windows to a 15-foot distance measured only from the primary entrance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The council initially approved the ordinance April 11 with a 6-3 vote. But at its April 25 meeting, the council voted 9-0 to postpone the second and final vote.
Arlington is now designated a “100% Smoke Free City,” a benchmark based on World Health Organization criteria. More than 70 Texas cities are now protected by comprehensive smoke-free laws, according to Smoke-Free Texas, an organization that supports clean indoor air laws.
Arlington, with nearly 385,000 residents, is the second-largest city in Tarrant County. The American Heart Association has been leading the Smoke-Free Arlington coalition, which is made up of about 30 partners.
Smoking is the second-leading risk factor for death in the United States, and each year about 34,000 Americans die from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke, according to AHA statistics.