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Two Texas Cities Approve Smoking Bans

Two Texas cities yesterday approved smoking bans that will prohibit people from lighting up in convenience stores, restaurants and bars.

The El Paso City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that will bank smoking in all enclosed public areas. A provision was removed that would have prohibited smoking in outdoor areas next to buildings where people gather, including restaurant and bar patios.

Critics said restaurant and bar patrons will go to Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the Rio Grande in Mexico, where no such restrictions exist.

Also on yesterday, the Lubbock City Council gave final approval to a citywide ban on smoking in all enclosed public areas, such as c-stores and restaurants. The ban allows any business to seek a three-year exemption.
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