Galveston Smoking Ban Rejected

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Smoking will still be allowed in Galveston restaurants and bars after the City Council rejected a comprehensive smoking ban. The council voted Thursday not to change the city's current smoking ordinance. It prohibits smoking in public buildings and city parks but allows restaurants to maintain smoking and non-smoking areas.

The proposed change would have banned smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places like bowling alleys, bingo halls and boxing arenas.

Backers of the smoking ban argued that secondhand smoke is harmful to nonsmokers and should be eliminated from bars and restaurants to protect customers and employees.

Galveston restaurant owners rallied against the ban.

Bar owner Gus Taylor says at least 50 percent of his customers smoke and that his bar --qoute-- "can't survive without their business."