The proposal originally sought to ban indoor smoking, ending the exemptions for bars, pool halls, comedy clubs, bingo halls and restaurants that have enclosed smoking systems.
Since then, the proposal has been made tougher by including outdoor places such as the San Antonio Zoo, the River Walk, Alamo and Main plazas, city-owned parks, child care and adult day care centers, outdoor sports arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters.
The proposal would also prohibit smoking within 20 feet of outdoor public transportation stations and outdoor service lines for ATMs, concerts, food vendors, movies and sporting events.
But by the time the council votes on the proposal, it might have taken a different shape.
Mayor Julián Castro said Monday that the council will pass an ordinance next week “that protects the public health more effectively.”
There are places that the language can be sharpened, and there’s room for some changes.
“For instance, with parks, I’m not adverse to banning smoking in the pavilion and playground areas in lieu of the entire park,” Castro said.
But there’s also no room for negotiation on certain parts of the proposal.
“At the end of the day, the indoor smoking will be completely covered by this ordinance,” he said. “To the extent there’s compromise, that compromise will center on outdoor smoking restrictions.”
To say the least, it’s been a contentious process. The San Antonio City Council seems more divided on the issue than Houston’s Council was when its revised ordinance was passed. I’ll be interested to see how it winds up.