The Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve updates to the city’s smoking ordinance. Beginning March 12, customers in Fort Worth bars and bingo parlors will no longer be able to smoke within the buildings. Fort Worth was one of the last major cities in Texas to still allow smoking in bars. The new law also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes.
The vote came after nearly 50 people spoke and submitted comment cards in favor of the new law. Among those 50 was DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) President/CEO W. Stephen Love, who was present for the vote.
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.
Love’s presentations at 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.
“Study after study show no impact to business occurs because of a smoke-free ordinance,” Love said. “Simply put, smoke-free ordinances save lives and communities save money with lower healthcare costs and greater productivity thanks to a healthier workforce.”