San Antonio smoking ordinance heads for a vote

The revised San Antonio smoking ordinance has made it out of Council committee and will be voted on, in some form, next week.

The proposal originally sought to ban indoor smoking, ending the exemptions for bars, pool halls, comedy clubs, bingo halls and restaurants that have enclosed smoking systems.

Since then, the proposal has been made tougher by including outdoor places such as the San Antonio Zoo, the River Walk, Alamo and Main plazas, city-owned parks, child care and adult day care centers, outdoor sports arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters.

The proposal would also prohibit smoking within 20 feet of outdoor public transportation stations and outdoor service lines for ATMs, concerts, food vendors, movies and sporting events.

But by the time the council votes on the proposal, it might have taken a different shape.

Mayor Julián Castro said Monday that the council will pass an ordinance next week “that protects the public health more effectively.”

There are places that the language can be sharpened, and there’s room for some changes.

“For instance, with parks, I’m not adverse to banning smoking in the pavilion and playground areas in lieu of the entire park,” Castro said.

But there’s also no room for negotiation on certain parts of the proposal.

“At the end of the day, the indoor smoking will be completely covered by this ordinance,” he said. “To the extent there’s compromise, that compromise will center on outdoor smoking restrictions.”

To say the least, it’s been a contentious process. The San Antonio City Council seems more divided on the issue than Houston’s Council was when its revised ordinance was passed. I’ll be interested to see how it winds up.

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5 Responses to San Antonio smoking ordinance heads for a vote

  1. Brad M. says:

    Wow, I guess we’ll see if San Antonio’s City Council wakes up and finds out they are in the 21st century and do the right thing. Or we find out the majority are knuckleheads. If you are smoker start digging that bunker.

  2. dmcnuggets says:

    Why the f—ing heck is this proposal needed? A proposal that is as sweeping as this one is, including banning smoking in ALL AREAS of parks(if the park proposal only included playgrounds, I wouldn’t object to that, since it is an area where kids regularly gather in), throughout the River Walk, plazas such as the Alamo Plaza, and all bars and restaurants that voluntarily chose to allow smoking is just wrong. Moving on from the issue of outdoor areas such as city parks and the River Walk, this proposal will SCREW OVER all businesses that set up their business model to accommodate smokers inside. NO ONE is required to apply for jobs in restaurants that specifically built smoking areas to comply with the existing ban, nor in a bar that chooses to allow smoking.

    Passing this ordinance won’t bring your city ‘into the 21st Century’, or SAVE A SINGLE LIFE. If SHS exposure was so dangerous, then why have so many studies failed to show SHS is anywhere near as dangerous as antis openly lie about all the time? Vote no on this proposal, San Antonio City Council!

  3. dmcnuggets says:

    Erm, my original post should’ve also added that many restaurants did invest in specifically designed ventilation systems to keep smoke out of non-smoking areas, so why screw over the limited number of restaurants who invested all the money they did to install systems that work to keep smoke out of non-smoking areas of restaurants?

  4. ichoosefreedom says:

    I guess the City of San Antonio hasn’t seen the latest gallup poll.
    Only 31% of American adults want a total smoking ban in bars. So for the person welcoming San Antonio to the 21st century, I believe you’re a little behind the times.
    Adults DO want adult places to do where they can be accommodated.

  5. Bob says:

    The ban lobbyists are paid and instructed to keep returning until ALL exemptions are gone. Here’s their instruction book.

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