Banned in Houston

The citywide smoking ban in Houston will go through as scheduled after a federal court threw out a lawsuit from area bar and restaurant owners requesting a preliminary injunction against the ordinance.

Members of the Houston Association of Alcoholic Beverage Permit Holders filed the lawsuit this month, shortly after the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America convention left town, saying the city government, under state law, did not have the authority to regulate establishments that serve alcohol. On Monday, according to local sources, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled that the plaintiffs did not meet the burden of proof required for an injunction. Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States.

The ban will go into effect Friday, September 1, extending the existing law prohibiting smoking inside restaurants to most public spaces, including bars. Indoor smoking will continue to be permitted in establishments classified as tobacco stores and bars.

Click here for past articles on the Houston smoking ban.

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