Northeast Tarrant

Bedford bans smoking on hospital campuses

The city’s get-tough stance on smoking now includes hospital campuses.

Meg Jakubik, assistant to the city manager said that the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford board asked the City Council to amend its ordinance to include the hospital campus so that it will reflect the corporation’s smoke-free policies.

“We did this as a partnership with HEB, and our policy also mirrors Arlington’s,” Jakubik said.

Andy Wilson, a spokesman for Texas Health HEB, said that Bedford’s original smoking ordinance included the interior of hospital buildings but not hospital grounds.

“Texas Health Resources supports public policy that promotes health and well-being among North Texans, including encouragement to not use tobacco products,” Wilson said in an email. “At Texas Health HEB we consider the City of Bedford a key partner and wanted to work together with the city to improve the health of our community.”

The ordinance excludes property owned by Texas Health Resources that is not used for medical purposes, such as the location of On the Border. On the Border leases from Texas Health Resources.

Last fall, the city council voted to prohibit smoking in restaurants unless more than 50 percent of the establishment’s annual revenue comes from alcohol sales. Smoking is still allowed on outdoor patios if they are physically separated from the dining area or at least 10 feet from the entrance.

Adding restaurants to Bedford's smoking ban came after a survey of residents showed that 87.1 percent “supported or strongly supported” banning smoking in restaurants.

Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696

Twitter: @fwstliz