Posted: Feb 1, 2013 4:56 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2013 5:13 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A stringent smoking ban will go into effect Saturday in the Rio Grande Valley's largest city.
Brownsville leaders approved the ban in late 2012. The prohibition forbids anyone from lighting up inside buildings and public places. The ordinance affects private businesses open to the public.
The new law dictates that a smoking area can be designated at a site more than 20 feet away from businesses' entrances.
"Our first few months with this ordinance it's that to get the word out to avoid those kind of conflicts (that) they didn't know about there was an ordinance. We've done a lot of that work and will continue to do that," Brownsville Health Department Director Art Rodriguez said.
Business that don't abide by the law will face up to $2,000 in fines. Smokes could be fined up to $500 if they light up inside a building.