The Waxahachie City Council has passed a new smoking ban that will prohibit lighting up in work places and public places, with the five member council voting in favor of it 4-1 on Monday night.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Singleton was the one person to vote against the ordinance, saying that he didn’t feel comfortable forcing such a decision on businesses, according to a report on WaxahachieTX.com.
The text of the ban can be found here, and included in it is language that prohibits smoking inside of most businesses, public buildings and city- owned facilities. The ordinance specifically mentions bars and nightclubs, gaming facilities, restaurants and private clubs. Smoking has also been outlawed within 25 feet of doors, windows and ventilation systems to places where smoking is banned.
There are a few exemptions to the ban, one of which is for retail tobacco shops, though they must be in freestanding facilities or have isolated venting and air controls. Hookah lounges appear to be grandfathered in, though a separate set of restrictions is being placed on them in order to maintain compliance. Private residences, personal automobiles, and a small portion of hotel and motel rooms also are exempt.
In addition, the minimum age to purchase electronic cigarettes has been set at 18. The ordinance goes into effect on Sept. 18.
Some 3,009 signatures were gathered in support of the ban, which had also gained the support of local churches and health organizations. The goal was to get the council to enact an ordinance that would result a comprehensive smoke free ordinance for the city of just over 31,000 residents.
Waxahachie is located approximately 30 miles south of Dallas.
Update (August 21, 2014)–The city posted the text of the ban on its website, which has been linked to above. In addition, exemptions to the ban have been clarified and added to the story.