Weatherford Democrat

April 17, 2014

No butts about it, smoking ban nears

Food establishments reminded city’s ban on smoking in eating establishments begins April 26


Weatherford Democrat

— By BRIAN SMITH

Weatherford eating establishments have just over a week to get their no smoking signs in place and prepare for the no smoking ordinance enacted by the city council in February to go into effect.

The no smoking ban, which includes e-cigarettes, begins Saturday, April 26. City secretary Malinda Nowell said within a few days of the ordinance passing by a 3-2 vote Feb. 25, letters went out to all eating establishments advising them of the new ordinance and what needed to be done to comply.

The ordinance defines an eating establishment as “any enclosed area of an establishment that offers for sale food or beverages for on-premises human consumption including, but not limited to restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, short order cafes, fast food establishments, convenience stores with delis, bistros, luncheonettes, lunchrooms, soda fountains and catering establishments, or any other business of whatever kind that packages, serves, vends or prepares food or beverage for on-premise consumption.”

Nowell said there is no exemption to the ordinance for private clubs, such as the VFW or

See BAN, page 3

American Legion.

An enclosed area is defined by the city as “all space in an eating establishment from the floor to the ceiling that is fully enclosed or capable of being fully enclosed on all sides by walls, windows, or doors in any combination.” Smoking must be done more than 10 feet from the main entrance or any operable window of any eating establishment.

Exceptions to the ordinance are:

• An outdoor seating area of an eating establishment if signs are posted at each entrance to the outdoor seating area to inform patrons that the outdoor area allows smoking.

• A retail tobacco store.

• A vape, or vapor, shop.

Signs advising patrons of the ordinance must be placed in a visible area of all public entrances. Signs must display either the international “no smoking symbol” (depiction of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it, or “other words or pictures designed to provide notice to a reasonable person that smoking is prohibited in the eating establishment.”

If there are smoking areas within the establishment, signs displaying the words “smoking permitted” at the entrance or other words or pictures designed to provide notice to a reasonable person that smoking is permitted in that area(s) of the eating establishment are required.

Fines range from $200 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and no more than $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.