Fort Worth smoking ban goes into effect on Monday

Smoking is officially banned in all bars and bingo halls in Fort Worth starting Monday.

The city passed an updated ordinance in December, giving businesses 90 days notice.

For more than 30 years, Charlie Browns Club has been open for business on Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth and all those years allowed smoking. But that's coming to an end.

"We have a lot of smoking clientele, and it's gonna impact everybody," said Rachel Wheeler who works at Charlie Browns Club. "When does it stop?  If now you're controlling bars, you're controlling people's vehicles."

While some are not happy to see the new rules go into effect, other bar patrons like Gladys Wing, who smoked for 35 years but has quit, are happy to see smoking go.

"I'm elated. I think us used to be smokers are worse than anybody as far as tolerating the smoke. I can't stand it," said Wing.

The new smoking ban includes e-cigarettes. Smoke shops are also banned from operating within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals. Smoking in certain cigar lounges is still allowed.

"That will ultimately improve fort worth's viability, and interest for other organizations to come here," said Brad Stewart with the Smoke-free Fort Worth Coalition.

The Smoke-free Fort Worth Coalition has been working for years to get the smoking ban in place. While some businesses are concerned this may hurt their bottom line, the coalition believes otherwise.

"From all the studies we've seen, there's nothing but a positive impact to the economics. For all those individuals that are non-smokers and don't be around second hand smoke, this now has the ability to bring in those individuals," said Stewart.
There new rules are a done deal and starting Monday, the ashtrays will be gone at Charlie Browns.

"We've got signs that will be put up, says this is no longer a smoking establishment, that's all we can do," said Wheeler.