The city council of Paris, Texas unanimously passed a sweeping smoking ban on Monday night that will put an end to smoking in the majority of public places within city limits. The ordinance was crafted by a 10-person committee formed following the council voting against another proposal in February.
Bars managed to survive the ban, but restaurants, buildings and public recreation areas will soon be smoke free, as well as 30-foot smoke-free buffer zone around entrances to buildings and playgrounds, and within 25 feet of ball fields, including seating areas and restrooms. E-cigarettes were left out of the ban, due to what EParisExtra.com noted was “a lack of scientific evidence that they present a danger to others.”
The full text of the smoking ban is supposed to be on the city’s website by Wednesday, with a 30-day grace period for establishments to come into compliance, meaning the ban goes into effect on April 23. Violators could be cited with a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine of up to $50, plus court costs. The report states that it will be up to each business owner to enforce the ban and ask violators to cease smoking. If a smoker refuses, they will be told to leave the premises or risk having the police called.
Paris is located just over 100 miles northeast of Dallas and has a population of approximately 25,000 people.