By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
The Arlington City Council on Tuesday tabled a vote to extend the North Texas city’s smoking regulations, voting 9-0 to take up the issue again at its May 9 meeting.
Earlier this month the council had voted 6-3 to adopt the ordinance across all businesses in the city, including nightclubs, bowling centers and other workplaces. The only exception is bingo halls, which are not considered public businesses. A second vote is needed to pass the ordinance, which also adds e-cigarettes to the regulations.
Mayor Jeff Williams said there was no political motivation, just concern about hearing all sides, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
If the vote passes next month, Arlington would be 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.