Restaurants and bars in the south Texas town of Port Arthur will have to pack up their ashtrays, as the city council approved a smoking ban for those establishments on Tuesday night.
The proposal came from Councilwoman Tiffany Hamilton and according to a report from KFDM.com, got vocal support at the meeting from numerous community residents, including health professionals, law enforcement and teachers.
Additionally, smoking is now banned in all indoor workplaces without exception, as well as in private clubs. A 25-foot no smoking boundary will go into effect around entrances, windows and ventilation systems of workplaces, while a 15-foot no smoking boundary applies to the outdoor seating areas of restaurants and bars. Smoking is also prohibited in all outdoor recreation area and their adjacent parking lots. Violators will be subject to a $50 fine, while business owners can face a $100 fine for a first violation of allowing smoking, which then escalates to $250 for a second violation and $500 for a third violation within one year. The city can also elect to revoke the business license of an establishment which allows smoking.
The ban goes into effect immediately upon publication.
Port Arthur is located 90 miles east of Houston and has a population of approximately 55,000 people.