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Fort Worth Council Votes To Expand Smoking Restrictions

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The Fort Worth City Council approved expanded the smoking ordinance 8-1 on Tuesday night inside a packed council chambers.

Lighting up in bars and Bingo halls in Fort Worth will no longer be allowed.

Fort Worth City Council expands smoking ordinance
Fort Worth City Council expands smoking ordinance (Ken Molestina - CBS11)

Fort Worth joins the other cities in Tarrant County and the major cities across Texas that ban smoking inside bars or bingo halls.

That includes e-cigarettes as well.

The only exception to that is smoking will still be allowed on outdoor patios as long as it's 20 feet away from entrances and exits.

"Tonight's vote is not just a win for every member of our workforce, but a win for the future of Fort Worth," said cardiologist and American Heart Association Board member Dr. Sreenivus Gudimetla. "We applaud the mayor and City Council for taking a tangible step to protect our community from the threat of heart disease and stroke."

"This a major public health win for Fort Worth residents who visit and work in public places," said Holly Motteram, executive director of the American Lung Association in Texas. "There are no safe levels of exposure to secondhand smoke, and this imperative ordinance will protect our lungs and help keep indoor air safe to breathe."

"For all of Fort Worth's blue collar and hospitality workers who have been putting their health at risk to provide for their families, this is a good day," said Onjewel Smith, southern states representative for Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. "Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy workplace."

Prior to this evening's vote, Fort Worth was the only major city in Texas without an ordinance protecting citizens from exposure to secondhand smoke in all workplaces.

The ordinance goes into effect in 90 days.

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