New smoke-free protections have been extended to all indoor workplaces in the city of Schertz, following the passing of an ordinance by City Council on May 21.

The details

During the May 7 City Council meeting, a public hearing was held alongside a presentation from city staff detailing changes to the ordinance.

Staff said the ordinance would be changed to include updated language, definitions and terminology to match the state. These include definitions surrounding electronic devices, vaping devices and retail tobacco stores.

According to the ordinance, smoking is prohibited in enclosed public places within the city, including recreational facilities, restaurants and bars, reception areas, common areas, places of employment, and other areas.

Smoking may be permitted in retail tobacco stores and electronic vaping stores, private residences, hotel and motel rooms, and outdoor seating areas that have appropriate signage posted, according to the ordinance.

Business owners using areas where smoking may be permitted will be required to have appropriate signage.

The ordinance states any person who violates any provision of the ordinance shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $200 on the first offense and no more than $500 for each conviction after the first.

City staff on May 21 said they will work to ensure all businesses are made aware of the ordinance changes.

The approved ordinance can be found here.

What else?

According to a May 22 news release from the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness, research consistently shows secondhand smoke exposure is linked to serious health issues, including respiratory problems, heart disease and cancer.

“We commend the city of Schertz for taking this critical step to safeguard the health of our community,” said Katarina Eberhard, a Schertz resident and coordinator of the Guadalupe County Community Coalition, in the release. “Hospitality workers are often exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke, and the updates to the ordinance will provide them with the protection they deserve.”