Smoking Ordinance Q&A

City of Gainesville Smoking Ordinance Questions and Answers

Effective July 1, 2013

Where is smoking prohibited?

  • All enclosed public places within the city limits of the City of Gainesville, Texas.
  • All enclosed facilities, including buildings and vehicles owned or occupied by the City of Gainesville, Texas.
  • All City Parks and recreational areas.
    • Smoking is permitted in the parking lot of the Civic Center but not within twenty (20) feet of any entrance or exit of the building.
  • All outdoor sporting arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters, as well as in bleachers and grandstands for use by spectators.

Where is smoking permissible?

  • Smoking shall occur at a reasonable distance of twenty (20) feet or more outside any entrances, operable windows, ventilation systems or any other openings of an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter the area.
  • Private residences, except for residences used as a day care, adult day or heath care facility.
  • Bars – defined as establishments which have more than seventy (70) percent of their annual gross sales in alcoholic beverages and which are devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of such beverages and where minors are not allowed admittance unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Food establishments that contain a bar are not considered a "bar".
  • Retail Tobacco Stores – defined as any commercial establishment that derives at least fifty-one (51) percent of its annual gross receipts from the sale of tobacco and tobacco accessories existing as of June 6, 2013.
  • Tobacco Bars – defined as bars in which the onsite sales or rentals of tobacco products and smoking accessories for consumption or use on the premises exceeds twenty (20) percent of gross revenues and into which entry is restricted to individuals eighteen (18) years of age and above.
  • No more than 25% of hotel and motel rooms rented to quests may be designated for smoking.
  • Private and Semi private rooms in nursing home and long-term care facilities that are occupied by a person(s) who smokes and has requested in writing to be placed in a room where smoking is permitted.
  • Stage area of enclosed theaters, if smoking is an integral part of a theatrical performance.

What do owners/operators of non-smoking facilities have to do to comply with the ordinance?

  • Ensure no smoking occurs in their facility.
  • Remove any and all ashtrays or other smoking accessories from a place where smoking is prohibited.
  • Request a person violating the smoking ordinance in their establishment to stop smoking or leave.
  • Post "No Smoking" signs in English and Spanish or the international "No Smoking" symbol (see example to the right) clearly at every entrance to every building or other area where smoking is prohibited.
    • These signs shall be posted by the owner, operator, manager or other person who has control of such building or other area.
No Smoking Sign

What do employers at non-smoking facilities have to do to comply with the ordinance?

  • Designate all areas of the place of employment including but not limited to, conference rooms, break rooms, and dining areas as non-smoking with the required signage as shown above.
  • Notify employees and applicants that smoking is prohibited or permitted (if the establishment is exempt from the smoking ordinance).

Who can I contact if I have any questions or would like to file a smoking complaint?

  • If you would like to file a complaint or have any additional questions, please call the City of Gainesville Community Services Director at (940) 668-4540.

What is the penalty for violations?

  • A fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) for a first violation.
  • A fine not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) for a second violation of this ordinance within one (1) year.
  • A fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each additional violation of this ordinance within one (1) year.

View the ordinance in its entirety (PDF).