Beginning March 12, patrons to Fort Worth bars and bingo parlors will have to take their smoking habit outside.
The City Council on Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve updates to the city’s smoking ordinance for the first time since 2008. Fort Worth was one of the last major cities in Texas that still allowed smoking in bars. The new law also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes.
The new ordinance still allows smoking in outdoor dining areas and patios of public places, provided the area where smoking is permitted is at least 20 feet from entrances and exits. It also still allows smoking in private clubs.
In addition, the new ordinance prohibits retail smoke shops within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals. A retail smoke shop is a business that receives 90 percent of its gross annual sales be from tobacco, smoking and e-cigarette products.
The council wanted to wait 90 days for the ordinance to take effect to give city staff time to educate the owners of about 300 Fort Worth bars.