GARLAND, Texas – The following statement was issued by a coalition of leading health organizations:
“We are disappointed the city of Garland passed a watered-down smoke-free ordinance that continues to leave workers and patrons in Garland exposed to deadly secondhand smoke.
“The city of Garland has failed in its task to protect public health and safety by exempting bingo halls and leaving a loophole for bars to allow smoking indoors. It shouldn’t matter if you work at a bar or a bank — no employee should have to breathe deadly secondhand smoke to earn their paycheck.
“Garland’s ordinance is out of step with current standards that prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces and simply ask smokers to step outside, without exception. There are 94 Texas cities, including Fort Worth and Arlington, with comprehensive smoke-free ordinances that include their bars. The citizens of Garland deserve better.
“Enacting a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance would have protected all workers, including the service industry employees, musicians and entertainers who breathe more secondhand smoke on the job than any other type of employee. As a result, these hard-working residents can suffer from many of the same illnesses caused by smoking.
“It is extremely unfortunate that residents do not yet have the freedom to enjoy an evening out without worrying whether they can breathe easily. The Smoke-Free Texas coalition and the residents of Garland will continue to work with the community and City Council to include all indoor workplaces in our city’s smoke-free ordinance, because every Texan deserves the right to breathe clean air. Residents can help our efforts by contacting the City Council to voice their support for a comprehensive ordinance that will protect all workers from toxic exposure to secondhand smoke.”
About Smoke-Free Texas
Smoke-Free Texas is a broad coalition of organizations and individuals who believe all Texas employees have the right to breathe clean indoor air. We support a statewide law to protect Texans from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. Our members include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. On the web: smokefreetexas.org.