Smoke Free Falls? - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Smoke Free Falls?

Smoke Free Falls?

Wichita Falls health officials say a public smoking ban is what's best for local resident's well-being. However, some businesses like Parkway Grill say that a smoking ordinance would eat away at their profits, forcing them to cut away at employee hours.

"We are estimating a 20 percent loss of those smokers which comes out to fourteen percent of our bar and that is that’s a big loss no matter who you are," said Kittrell, Manager at Parkway Grill.

According to Kittrell she estimates that around 70% of her customer base are smokers. If an ordinance like the one that will be presented in front of the council is passed it could cost parkway grill about 15% of its overall profits. Tommy Bevins of Vernon, said that he would be one of the customers that would not continue to eat and drink at Parkway if the ban is passed.

"I come out here quite often because they do allow smoking. You come out to a bar, people expect to smoke. People aren't going to pay three dollars a beer and walk outside to smoke. They tried it in Vernon, it closed them all down," said Bevins.

Wichita Falls Director of Public Health Lou Kreidler said that she's not worried about Vernon, she's looking out for Wichita Falls.

"There is no safe level of second hand smoke it not only is not only bad public health policy because it still puts those patrons those employees. It still puts their health at risk," said Kreidler.

One of the most recent changes to the ordinance would allow smoking on outdoor enclosed areas. The idea is to give some restaurants more flexibility to control those smokers who would otherwise have to stand as far as 20 feet from the front entrance just to light up.

Jack Carney
, Newschannel6.

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