A city council subcommittee is considering expanding the city's current smoking ban from restaurants and workplaces to bars, billiard halls and within 15 feet of entrances to publicly accessible villages, according to the DMN. A majority of the six councilmen on the subcommittee seem to be leaning in favor of the proposal, according to the News story and more comments on its blog.
I have to admit that when the city council first decided to restrict smoking in restaurants and other public places a few years ago, I had my doubts: It seemed like a draconian measure, and it seemed likely to drive business out of Dallas. Today, though, I haven't seen a single study indicating that significant business was lost to the more smoking-friendly suburbs, and the air in most places I go these days is cleaner and clearer.
And that was never obvious to me than the other night, when a friend and I stopped by a Mesquite sports bar. The bar itself was great, lots of TVs, but the place was filled with smoke. I didn't even notice it until I arrived home, when my clothes literally stunk after absorbing the smoke, much as I suppose my lungs did, too.
I don't have anything against smokers, but I've come to think that smoking in any public place is a health issue for those who don't smoke — and there are far more nonsmokers than smokers these days. I'll need to know more about the smoking ban being considered before making a definitive call, but I can tell you I'm more in favor of limits today than I was before the city initiated the first ban.