By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

0412-brf-smokingban_WP

The Arlington City Council voted Tuesday to extend the North Texas city’s smoking ban.

In the first of two required votes, the council voted 6-3 to adopt the ordinance across all businesses in the city, including nightclubs, bowling centers and other workplaces. The only exception is bingo halls, which are not considered public businesses.

The ordinance also adds e-cigarettes to the regulations.

With the added smoking restrictions, Arlington will be designated a “100% Smoke Free City,” a benchmark based on World Health Organization criteria. More than 70 Texas cities are now protected by comprehensive smoke-free laws, according to Smoke-Free Texas, an organization that supports clean indoor air laws.

Arlington, with nearly 385,000 residents, is the second-largest city in Tarrant County. The American Heart Association has been leading the Smoke-Free Arlington coalition, which is made up of about 30 partners.

Smoking is the second-leading risk factor for death in the United States, and each year about 34,000 Americans die from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke, according to AHA statistics.

The council will have its second and final vote on April 25.