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News Summary

Statewide smoking ban being prepped for next legislative session

Publication Date: 9/8/2010
  • Author:Dave Montgomery
  • Publication:Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Undaunted by failure in last year's legislative session, supporters of a statewide smoking ban are gearing up to resurrect the measure to combat what they say is a public-health menace caused by secondhand smoke.

Similar legislation died in the waning days of the 2009 Legislature despite the support of cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong and an aggressive push by a statewide coalition of public-health organizations. Proponents couldn't overcome opposition from conservative free-enterprise groups that denounced the ban as government intrusion into private property rights

Spokesmen for the coalition, Smoke-Free Texas, said Wednesday that supporters are preparing to reintroduce the measure in the 2011 Legislature, convening in January, while conceding that they face the same obstacles.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who co-authored the Senate version of the bill in 2009, said she is eager to resume that role in 2011.

"We're as vibrant and strong as ever," said James Gray, government relations director for the American Cancer Society, one of the member groups of Smoke-Free Texas. "We're a group that's not going away until it's done."