Lufkin, TX — The Coalition continues its efforts to make Lufkin a healthier place to live by campaigning for a stricter smoke-free ordinance.
Executive Director Janet Taylor gave a short presentation Tuesday to the Interagency Coalition about those efforts and why Lufkin deserves to go smoke-free at all local businesses.
The nonprofit organization developed the Smoke-Free Lufkin campaign in an attempt to raise awareness about a proposed ordinance that it believes would reduce health care costs and health concerns. Taylor said The Coalition hopes eventually the city will adopt a complete smoke-free ordinance to deny smoking in all businesses and keep smokers a certain distance from business entrances.
As it stands, Lufkin’s smoking ordinance, passed in 1994, states “protection is mixed in municipal worksites, private worksites, restaurants, bars in restaurants and bars not in restaurants. Designated smoking areas are allowed if separately ventilated, however coverage is partial due to exceptions, ambiguities, or legal issues.” Businesses and smokers could pay first-time fines up to $100, and those fines increase up to $500 for subsequent violations.
Lufkin in 2009 passed an ordinance banning smoking in city parks.
Diboll enacted its 100 percent smoke-free ordinance in 1997, and Nacogdoches enacted a similar ordinance in 2008, according to a study done by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston that can be found at smokefreelufkin.org. Cities such as Houston, Dallas, Tyler, Austin, San Antonio and others also have passed smoke-free ordinances, the study stated.
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