Bryan city council approves public place smoking ban

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) Tuesday the Bryan city council banned smoking in public places like businesses and restaurants.

Courtesy MGN

Citizens can, however, still smoke in establishments that sell tobacco products, like VFW posts and bingo halls.

The ordinance is a more comprehensive measure than a previous ban that only prohibited smoking in public parks.

Several groups, including some students, have been pushing for the stricter law.

Vikings Kicking Out Tobacco, a student-led organization at Bryan High attended Tuesday’s council meeting. The group’s leaders say the council’s vote is a victory but they are hoping for more.

"Nobody understands this is a law until you walk into a place that you were previously allowed to smoke such as a bar,” said Nicholas McDaniel, VKOT president.

McDaniel says the city should enforce the new law by having businesses post signs. The group also believes allowing smoking in places like bingo halls and VFW posts are loopholes that should be eliminated.

"You can't actually have fun and enjoy your time at bingo when you are being bombarded by smoke,” said McDaniel. “If we can't protect my grandma and other people in the community, then who are we protecting in Bryan?"

According to a spokesperson with the city, the council has agreed to consider the group’s suggestions during a meeting in July.

Texas lawmakers are also close to passing a statewide law that would ban all smoking for anyone under the age of 21, and that's why the city council wants to wait on making any changes.