The Fort Worth City Council will vote tonight on a proposed smoking ban that would extinguish cigarettes in bars and bingo halls, and limit where smoke shops can be located within the city. If the vote passes, it could take effect within 90 days.
DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) President/CEO W. Stephen Love will be present prior to the vote and is expected to make a presentation to the city council. For almost a decade, DFWHC has advocated for smoking bans in public venues throughout North Texas.
Love appeared at the Arlington City Council meeting on May 9 to detail the public advantages and healthcare savings when smoking bans are enacted, with the Council passing a ban proposal by a 7-2 vote.
Fort Worth is one of the few remaining major U.S. cities that still allows smoking in bars, and is the largest Texas city to have not enacted smoke-free ordinances. In a December 8 editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mayor Betsy Price said, “Fort Worth is leading on issues of health and wellness, and it’s time we take this next step to protect the well-being of Fort Worth residents and visitors.”
Love’s presentations at past city council meetings in the region have noted a 15 percent decrease in heart attack hospitalizations and a 16 percent decrease in stroke hospitalizations following the passing of similar smoking bans.