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Time to clear Denton’s air

A citywide smoking ban, as proposed, would give nearly everyone in Denton a smoke-free workplace.

Why not make it 100 percent?

During its deliberation of the proposed ordinance, City Council members have discussed a variety of scenarios and heard from many and varied sources, including health care professionals, business owners and community leaders.

They have heard why Denton needs to ban smoking if it cares about the health of its residents and why Denton can’t ban smoking if it cares about the health of its businesses.

They have also heard why a partial ban — one that would prohibit smoking indoors but allow smoking in outdoor areas such as patios, for example — would be the wisest (and most politically expedient?) route to take.

We’d say that city officials have done their homework, and we believe it’s time to clear the air, so to speak.

In our view, there’s only decision to be made here — should smoking in public places be allowed or should it be prohibited?

And we also feel that the answer is just as simple and clear-cut. We believe it’s time for the City Council to declare Denton a smoke-free zone.

Denton should have a clear-cut policy that leaves no room for misunderstanding, misinterpretation or loophole stretching.

We believe that Denton should have a strict no-smoking policy for all public places, and we believe that the rule should apply to everyone — and every business — in the city. We don’t believe that smoking should be allowed in some establishments and prohibited in others.

Why should non-smoking residents be forced to research a list of disclaimers before choosing a place to shop or dine?

Why should patrons who want to sit on the patio be forced to breathe smoke-tainted air when patrons seated inside don’t have to deal with such health hazards?

The air we breathe belongs to everyone, and now it’s time for the City Council to make the right decision.

Prohibit smoking in public places. Period.