Wichita Falls Smoking Ordinance Reaches Compromise With Bars, R - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Wichita Falls Smoking Ordinance Reaches Compromise With Bars, Restaurants

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The Wichita Falls Wichita County Public Health District has reached a compromise with bars and restaurants in regards to a proposed smoking ban in the city. 

The ordinance would still require all bars and restaurants to be smoke free, but it gives existing businesses two years to eliminate smoking. The two year time frame is intended to give bars and restaurants adequate time to build patios, pay for new "no smoking" signs and make any other adjustments needed for a ban. 
This would not apply to any new bars or restaurants opening after the ordinance is passed, if it passes. 

The Health District presented Wichita Falls City Council with a smoking ordinance on June 3rd. Business owners and citizens packed the council meeting that day to express their views on the subject. Businesses are concerned an all out smoking ban could hurt their income, but a majority of people who spoke were in favor of a ban. 

The health district maintains a smoking ban will help improve health of non-smokers who are subjected to breathing in smoking establishments and in other public places, like parks. 

The Health District is already a smoke free facility. It banned smoking in January 2013. The Wichita Falls Housing Authority followed suit in April 2014. Even Buffalo Wild Wings announced in that it also would ban smoking starting in May 2014. National drugstore chain CVS is currently phasing out all tobacco products, with plans to stop selling them by October 2014. 

Wichita Falls City Council is expected to vote on the proposed smoking ordinance on Tuesday, June 17.

Before the vote, representatives from the Health District will be live in the Newschannel 6 studio to discuss the ordinance. Watch Monday, June 16, at 6 p.m. to see their interview. You can send any questions you have about the proposed ban to news@kauz.com.