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Irving City Council Votes To Ban Public Smoking With Few Exceptions

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IRIVING, TX (CBS 11)— After 18 months of debate and research city of Irving council members have passed a 6 to 3 vote approving an ordinance that would ban smoking in all public places in the city except for 8 restaurants and 1 bingo parlor.

The decision Thursday doesn't come without controversy. The chairmen of the city's Board of Health along with 2 other colleagues resigned immediately as a result of the vote.

Dr. Michael Chiu said the board as well as the medical community had recommended a 100 percent ban on smoking. No exceptions. He questioned the exception for the 8 businesses saying
"They [council] still won't say why they are exempt".

He cites public health concerns that should be addressed across the board for everyone not just most.

Representatives of those businesses granted the exceptions were present during the vote, but refused to answer any questions following the results.

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne who opposed the proposal based on its constitutionality said "We are creating discrimination within the law."

She added "This is a silly and ridiculous ordinance".

The ordinance goes into effect immediately and will allow business except for the exempted business, 6 months to become compliant.

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