Dallas’ new ban on smoking in bars and pool halls went into effect today.

The ban prohibits indoor smoking, and limits lighting up to patios and decks, where available, or 15 feet away from the bar’s entrance.

Technically, the ban went into effect at midnight, which means bar-goers had to put out their smokes two hours before bars closed last night.

Restaurants have been under a smoking ban for years, but there are few, if any, bars in Preston Hollow. But in Uptown and on lower Greenville, along with other bar-heavy neighborhoods, bar owners are wondering how the ban will affect business.

Enforcement of the ban rests in the hands of the city’s 23 Environmental and Health Services sanitarians, who are charged with not only inspecting the kitchens of establishments in the city, but now, will dispense $200 tickets to anyone caught smoking, as well as the owner of the establishment.

I’d imagine there are hundreds, if not thousands of restaurants and bars throughout the city limits of Dallas. There are 23 inspectors. A bar owner intent on keeping his customers happy may be inclined to play the odds and take the chance that he won’t get caught, if it meant making $201 dollars in extra profit.

How effective will this ban be if enforcement is lackluster at best?

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