Time to pass full smoking ban

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(Denton Record-Chronicle editorial)  We urge Denton City Council members to stop stalling and do the right thing by expanding the city’s smoking ban to include bars.

The smoking ban is scheduled to return to the forefront today when the council deliberates changes it tabled during an April 7 meeting.

That session drew a large turnout of people who offered about three hours of passionate public testimony, some opposing and some supporting an expansion of the current ban.

Those supporting the measure included bartenders, musicians and others who work in bars and asked the council to expand the ban so they could have a smoke-free workplace.

Several health professionals also argued in favor of expanding the ban, saying that the known risks from smoking pose too great a public threat.

Those opposing the measure included bar owners who still allow smoking. They told the council that they fear they will lose their businesses if the current ban is expanded to include them.

Denton originally banned smoking in public places, including workplaces, in late 2012, giving restaurants until early 2013 to comply. But bar owners and the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, which operates a bingo parlor on the fairgrounds, pushed for an exception for their businesses, which the council granted.

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