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San Antonio smoking ban strengthened

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Public health concerns were cited as the San Antonio City Council approved a plan to expand a ban on smoking in many public places.

The updated smoke-free ordinance takes effect in a year, on Aug. 19, 2011.

Council members approved the new ordinance Thursday.

It eliminates exemptions that have allowed lighting up in bars, pool and bingo halls, comedy clubs and restaurants with enclosed smoking areas. Smoking also will be banned at the San Antonio Zoo and within 20 feet of outdoor public transit stations.

A compromise ordinance allows for a one-year phase-in period.

The River Walk tourist area is exempt from the smoking ban, along with Main Plaza, Alamo Plaza, retail tobacco stores and private clubs.


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