City Adopts Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016

Filed under: City |

Duncanville Champion – February 2016

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, the Duncanville City Council amended Chapter 16B of the Code of Ordinances and passed the “Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016,” in an effort to greatly reduce the exposure of employees and citizens to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.

The new ordinance seeks to mitigate these harmful effects by replacing the older ordinance, which allowed smoking in designated areas, with a comprehensive smoking ordinance that protects workers and citizens in municipal work sites, private sector work sites, restaurants, restaurant bars, and finally, bars that are not within restaurants.

no_smokingThe City of Duncanville now joins 42 other cities within the State of Texas who have also passed comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. These include DeSoto, Denton, Plano, Flower Mound, Southlake, University Park, Waxahachie, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Dallas.

The comprehensive smoking ordinance includes several items that both businesses and citizens need to be aware of:

  1. Smoking is prohibited in all places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.
  2. Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places within the City, including but not limited to restaurants, bars, and restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use areas. Private clubs are also included, with the exception of those dedicated to the service of veterans of the United States military and their families, incorporated as a non-profit corporation, located and established within the corporate limits of the City prior to January 1, 1975.
  3. Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of outside entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed spaces where smoking is prohibited, including buildings owned and/or rented by the City, and within 15 feet of outdoor playgrounds, bleachers, or grandstands. It is also prohibited in outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters or while in an outdoor service line.
  4. Purchase, possession, consumption, or delivery of e-cigarettes and/or liquid nicotine to persons younger than 18 years old is prohibited.
  5. Smoking is not regulated in private residences, private automobiles, and retail tobacco stores, cigar stores, and retail electronic smoking device stores for sampling of the products sold there.

Enforcement of the new ordinance falls to the City Health Inspector, peace officer, or an authorized designee who can issue verbal warnings, written warnings, and finally, issue citations for offenses. The new ordinance provides a sliding-scale of fines within a 12-month period for individual offenders while businesses can face a fine up to $2000 for non-compliance issues.

The ordinance will become effective on May 1, 2016. For more information or a complete copy of the new “Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016,” please click here or contact the Public Information Officer, Claudia Garibay, at 972-780-5043