Smoking ban proponents determined to try again - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Smoking ban proponents determined to try again

Matthew Harris, President, West Texas Smoke Free Coalition Matthew Harris, President, West Texas Smoke Free Coalition
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Lubbock City Council members say members of the West Texas Smoke Free Coalition requested the delay that postponed the vote on a smoking ban ordinance on Thursday.

The vote to delay passed four to three on Thursday night.

Matthew Harris, chairman of the coalition, says this will help buy the time they need.

"That way we can engage a little bit more public education to make sure everyone understands what's in the ordinance," Harris said, "and more importantly what's not in the ordinance."

Councilman Floyd Price voted to postpone the decision, saying he would like more time to look at the fine print of the ordinance to see what problems it has so they can fix those issues.

Latrelle Joy also voted in favor of postponing, saying a "good government" allows people the time they need to gather more information.

The ordinance is adding more stipulations to the current smoking ordinance, but Joy said there are a few areas that need to be fine-tuned.

Harris said the coalition is already working on to clear up some misunderstandings with the public. He said one of the biggest misconceptions is that the ordinance will ban all tobacco products such as chewing tobacco.

"I don't know anyone that has ever died from secondhand dip," he said, "so that's not one of our goals. I think...someone reading the ordinance misread it. They kind of failed to recognize the difference between the definition section and then the applicable law."

However, the ordinance would still ban electronic cigarettes, a concern to Hub City Vapors owner Tom Jordan.

"It does seem like another government overreach where there hasn't been a problem. Why does there need to be a solution?" he said. "There's no tobacco in them, there's nicotine. Nicotine has been proven as an addictive substance but it is not a carcinogen, it's not something that causes cancer."

Members of the smoke free coalition hope council members will revisit the ordinance soon.

Harris said anyone with questions or comments can post them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/westtexassmokefree

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