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Old January 4th, 2010, 09:17 PM
Phil&Liz's Avatar
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Default Galveston visitors

Smoke em if ya got em butt......

Galveston has a no smoking law in effect for both inside AND outside bars etc.
As you can see below it is not well received or enforced but we did want everyone to know about it...

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Starting today, it is against the law to smoke in restaurants, bars or outdoor seating areas in Galveston. Galveston police say the new ordinance is the last on its list of laws to enforce. If caught, smokers will be given a $100 ticket, the equivalent of a traffic violation. The city council did add one amendment to the ordinance. It allows smoking in stores specializing in tobacco products.
By Rhiannon Meyers
The Daily News Published January 2, 2010
GALVESTON — While restaurants and bars overwhelmingly banned smoking indoors on the first day of the city’s smoking ban, some continued to allow smokers to puff away on patios, near doors and on sidewalks outside the venues.

Few business owners Friday enforced the city’s outdoor smoking ban, which restricts smoking in outdoor seating areas, including patios and sidewalks in front of restaurants and bars.

Smokers flaunted the ban as they unabashedly lit up at tables lining The Strand and Postoffice Street, and many restaurant and bar owners said they were allowing patrons to smoke on patios.

Smokers lit up on the patio at the Press Box, 2401 Postoffice St., and bartender Melissa Gutierrez at Third Coast Beach Bar, 3102 Seawall Blvd., said she allowed smokers on the patio, though she strictly banned smoking inside.
"They’re fine outside," she said. "We can’t tell people where to smoke outside."

Police said they had issued no citations by 5 p.m. Friday. The offense is a class C misdemeanor — the equivalent of a traffic ticket — and comes with a $100 fine. Police will ticket individuals, not bars or restaurants.
The police have said it is not a priority to enforce the smoking ban. On a scale of what Galveston police have to deal with day-to-day, the smoking ban falls to the bottom, city spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said. The police have no immediate plans to raid bars, restaurants or private clubs to ensure they are following the ordinance, but they may do periodic checks if they can find the resources and manpower to do so, Cahill said. Officers will respond to complaints, but they have to witness a person smoking in an area where smoking is banned to issue a ticket, Cahill said.

Bar and restaurant owners have complained about the ordinance, which they say will harm already struggling island businesses. They repeatedly have asked city council members to amend the ban to allow smoking on decks and patios. Council members on Dec. 10 amended the ordinance to allow smoking in stores specializing in tobacco products. That amendment benefits only Havana Alley Cigar Shop and Lounge, 415 21st St.

However, council members, fearing they were giving the shop an undue advantage, prohibited the shop from allowing its patrons to sip beer, wine and liquor inside the store. The shop also must install a ventilation system and ban anyone younger than 18 years old.

While bars and restaurants throughout town posted new "no smoking" signs Friday, Havana Alley Cigar Shop and Lounge posted a sign informing patrons of its special status as the only place to light up indoors on the island.

Phil & Liz
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