During the October 8, 2018 City Council Meeting, a unanimous vote enacted an ordinance prohibiting smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes in public places within the City of Mont Belvieu. After receiving significant input on this issue from the public, the City Council felt it was appropriate to take action to protect the health, safety and welfare of Mont Belvieu's residents.
Prohibited areas are outlined in Section 14-1 of the ordinance which reads:
Sec. 14-1. - Smoking prohibited in City Buildings and Enclosed Public Places.
(a) Smoking shall be prohibited within any building owned, occupied, or used by the City.
(b) Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed areas in public places within the city, including but not limited to, the following places:
(1) Areas available to and customarily used by the general public in businesses and by nonprofit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited to, professional offices, banks, laundromats, hotels, and motels, restaurants, retail stores, shopping malls.
(2) Educational Facilities, both public and private, licensed child care and adult care facilities.
(3) Health care facilities
(5) Facilities primarily used for exhibiting a motion picture, stage, drama, lecture, musical recital or other similar performance.
(6) Convention or Meeting facilities.
(7) Polling places
(8) Sports Arenas, seating areas of all outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters including enclosed places in outdoor arenas.
(9) Lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multiple-unit residential facilities. (c) Smoking is prohibited within a reasonable distance of 20 feet outside an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited, so as to ensure that smoke does not enter the enclosed area through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or any other means.
Exceptions to the ordinance are outlined in section 14-4 of the ordinance that states the following:
Sec. 14-4 Exceptions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the following areas shall not be subject to the smoking prohibitions in Sections 14-1, 14-2 and 14-3.
(1) Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care, adult day care or health care facility;
(2) A private or semi-private room in a nursing home or long term health care facility that is occupied by persons who smoke and have requested in writing to be placed in a room where smoking is permitted, and provided that smoke from these places does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited;
(3) Hotel and motel rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms; provided, however, that not more than 20 percent of rooms rented to guests in a hotel or motel may be so designated. All smoking rooms on the same floor must be contiguous and smoke from these rooms must not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this ordinance. The status of rooms as smoking or nonsmoking may not be changed, except to add additional nonsmoking rooms.
(4) Hotel and motel conference or meeting rooms and public facilities while being used for a private function. This exception shall not include eating & drinking establishments.
(5) Any facility which is primarily used for exhibiting any stage, drama, lecture, musical recital or other similar performance, when smoking is part of a stage production.
(6) Private vehicles.