January 17, 2013

Smoking Ban on Austin Patios

Smokers in Austin could soon have fewer places to light up. 
Austin’s 8-year-old ban on smoking inside bars, restaurants and live music venues might be expanded to include outdoor patios and decks at those businesses. 
Live Tobacco-Free Austin Advocacy Group, a private organization, is pushing for the change, saying studies show secondhand smoke can be just as harmful outside as indoors. 
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department supports the idea, as does a city commission, the Early Childhood Council. The Austin City Council would have to make it law, but it’s not clear whether the council wants to.
Jennifer Conroy, head of the tobacco-free group, said about 80U.S. cities and counties have adopted smoking bans for bar and restaurant patios. Smoking “is the number one preventable killer in this country. 
Everyone thinks if you just move outside or stand a few feet away you will be fine, but the effects are still there,” said Conroy, a public health consultant who said her advocacy group has more than 250 members. “You wouldn’t let your kid handle benzene or arsenic, so why would you let them hang out on a patio where those chemicals are going into their lungs?”
Read the rest of the article in the Austin American-Statesman.

If approved, the new smoking ban would take effect on April 7, 2013.

What do YOU think about smoking in patios and restaurants? Have you, or your children, ever been bothered by the second-hand smoke? Do you agree with this proposed ban? Let us know in the comments sections below!

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