Raymondville considers smoking ban

RAYMONDVILLE — Soon, it might be harder to find a place to smoke in town.

Today, city commissioners will consider the first reading of a proposed ordinance banning smoking in areas of the city.

The proposal would prohibit “smoking of tobacco products and electronic smoking materials in certain enclosed and non-enclosed areas within the city limits,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

That would include businesses, restaurants and nightclubs, Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said yesterday.

“We’re going to target mostly restaurants and bars,” City Commissioner Zeke Cavazos said. “You don’t want to smell the smoke there.”

Gonzales said he doesn’t expect complaints would influence the push for the ban.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any problem,” he said.

Gonzales said the American Heart Association suggested the city impose the ban.

“I think it’s a good idea to have an ordinance like that in our city,” Gonzales said. “Right now, we’re promoting good health. That’s good especially for non-smokers so they don’t have to deal with second-hand smoke.”

The proposed ordinance also aims at “prohibiting smoking on city premises and other property,” the agenda states.

“I don’t think we’re going to say you can’t smoke anywhere in the city of Raymondville,” Cavazos said.

If commissioners approve the ordinance, they also would set penalties for violations.

In Harlingen, a smoking ban was approved in 2005.

At first, Harlingen’s ordinance banned smoking in all enclosed public areas.

But officials revised the ordinance to exclude bars, nightclubs and dog racing tracks.