The Kemah city council couldn't agree on a smoking ban in bars and restaurant bars at their meeting last night, but they did agree on one thing: Those desperate, addicted puffers forced outside in rain, cold and heat can be a little closer to the front doors of wherever they've had to vacate to get their nicotine fix.
Current city ordinances say smokers have to be 25 feet from the front door of any business in order to light up; in a valiant effort to make sure the lung-abusers get even less exercise, the city council cut the requirement to a mere five feet.
"Those extra 20 feet -- and we're talking forty feet round-trip -- could result in dozens of heart attacks," one council member didn't say.
"Allowing smokers to gather in packs a mere five feet from a door will provide a welcoming, festive cloud of sweet nicotine fog for other people to walk through," another member didn't say either. "Who knows? It might turn someone on to the enchanting hobby of cigarettes."
The agreement on cutting the distance of smokers' exiles came after the council could not agree on whether to ban smoking in the many bars and restaurant bars in the town.
The Galveston County Daily News reports that discussions broke down on whether smoking should be banned in regular ol' bars, or regular ol' bars plus the bars that are part of restaurants.
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And the council member who had first proposed broadening the city's ban admitted she had second thoughts.
Collins said hearing opposition to the ban changed her stance.
"I'm torn to tell you the truth," she said. "I don't want to affect anyone's business. I don't have an answer right now."
So for now, you're still free to share with your fellow drinkers the wonderful world of nicotine.
Sure, it's only "second-hand smoke," so they won't be getting all the first-hand advantages you and your lungs are enjoying, but it's a start.