Carrollton, Texas – The Carrollton City Council voted on Tuesday to make changes to the city’s smoking ordinance.
Environmental Services Director Cory Heiple said during a presentation at a work session that the city’s smoking ban was put in place in 1987 and changed in 2014 to allow vaping and other liquid nicotine products.
The new ordinance specifies where citizens are permitted to and are not permitted to smoke in public places, such as museums, schools, public buildings, hospitals, petrol stations, and other areas. It also contains revisions to the definitions mentioned at the beginning of the law, as well as to the requirements for smoking areas, signs, fines, and defenses. The ordinance was also changed to make it more compatible with the city’s new zoning rules.
One of the most significant clarifications was the distinction between having a nicotine product in one’s possession and smoking a nicotine product. The City Council worked with Heiple to clarify that possessing an unlit tobacco product or an e-cigarette that is not in use is allowed in a smoking-free zone. Smoking in a smoking-free zone remains illegal and is subject to a fine of up to $100.
According to the ordinance, smoking exceptions may now only take up 15 percent of a restaurant’s total square footage rather than the previous 30 percent. This change has been implemented in order to make it easier for health inspectors to verify that restaurants comply with the smoking ordinance.