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Dallas City Hall to Study Tougher Smoking Ban

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By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-786574.mp3

Dallas, TX – A smoke-free Dallas is back on the agenda at City Hall. KERA's BJ Austin reports it is one of several ways being discussed to tighten the city's smoking ordinance.

Karen Potasnik, with Smoke Free Dallas, says it is time to go totally smoke free, banning smoking in all indoor areas and workplaces. She says Houston and 18 other cities in Texas do it.

Potasnik: We are lagging behind other cities, other states and, in fact, other countries who already offer comprehensive protection against smoke.

But Bob Allen, owner of West End Pub, says another crackdown on smoking will cost the city in lost business and tax revenue.

Allen: People are going to other places like Addison to smoke. We are completely surrounded by cities that do not have smoking ordinances, and that's where those people will be going.

City Council on Wednesday decided to form a committee to talk to all sides in the renewed smoking debate and come up with changes to recommend. Currently, smoking is banned in restaurants, bingo halls and bowling alleys as well as hotel lobbies and meeting rooms.