Tyler Braces For New Smoking Ordinance

Maegan Maciel said she hopes to breathe more clearly and play better.  It's a day of firsts for Maciel, a first time league bowler.

"For people like me who are asthmatic and also allergic to the cigarette smoke, it kind of limits the places you can go," said Maciel.  The lanes at Green Acres Bowl are now smoke-free for the first time.

"You go to the hospitals, you can't smoke; you go out to eat, you can't smoke, and I don't think they'll give up bowling, but it'll take some getting used to," said Green Acres Bowl manager Tammy Jennings.  In February, city council members agreed to ban smoking inside public places such as businesses, restaurants and bars.  The ordinance prohibits smoking outside, as well, because it's no longer allowed within 20 feet of all public entrances and doorways.  The warning signs were in place, and the word isn't the only thing that's out.

"You can just tell the smell right off," said Jeff Glasco.  Even in fresher air, some say they felt burned.

"Something that big of an issue, we should have been able to vote yes, or no for it," said bowler Rex Buie.

"It's dumb," said Jessica Little.  "We should be able to smoke.  I want to be able to enjoy my time, and I shouldn't have to sit outside in the heat to enjoy my time."  At the bar inside Fat Catz, management said the switch is going to take some getting used to.

"They come here for reasons beside just being able to smoke," said Fat Catz manager Evan Scheidler.  "They come here for food, and they come here to have a cocktail."  No If's, And's, or Butt's about it, the City of Tyler is smoke free.

Violators of the ordinance will be fined $300 for their first offense.  For more information and ordinance rules, go to Know More on 7 and click the "Tyler Smoking Ordinance" link.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com