No smoking in La Feria?

LA FERIA — City leaders are scheduled to hold a public hearing today at city hall to determine whether or not to ban smoking in all indoor work places within the city.

If approved, the ban would prohibit smoking in most public buildings in the city.

Violators of the ordinance upon conviction would be punishable by fine.

A decision to adopt the comprehensive smoke-free ordinance could rock local bars like the American Legion and Texas Rose which allow smoking inside the establishments.

La Feria would not be the first city to take up the ban as more than 20 Valley cities have already approved similar ordinances in effort to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of its citizens.

According to the 2010 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, second hand smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution.

Since 1964 according to the surgeon general report on Smoking and Health, 2.5 million nonsmokers have died from disease caused by tobacco.

The National Cancer Institute determined in 1999 that second hand smoke is responsible for the early deaths of approximately 53,000 Americans annually.

The ordinance to adopt smoking regulations in the city was introduced to the city by the America Heart Association and tabled by the commission in July.

City commissioners had the opportunity to talk to business owners around town to get their stance on the issue.

According to Commissioner Eric Hoff, the ordinance reads anyone wanting to smoke would have to smoke 35 feet from the entrance of a public place.

“On downtown Main Street you have to move 35 feet and then your smoking in front of somebody else’s business,” Hoff said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Public hearing on adopting citywide smoking regulations

WHERE: City Hall commissioners chambers

WHEN: Today 6:30 p.m.