Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

News Summary

No luck this session for Texas smoke-free workplace advocates

Publication Date: 6/5/2013
  • Author:James Jeffrey
  • Publication:Austin Business Journal

This session marked the fourth failed attempt to pass a statewide smoke-free workplace law in Texas, despite proponents beginning the session with hopes that this time would be different.

Senate Bill 86 and House Bill 400 — filed by State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and State Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, respectively — proposed eliminating smoking in certain workplaces and public spaces, and instigating a smoke-free workplace law with fines for violations of up to $50 for individuals and $500 for employers. Neither bill made it out of committee.

“While disappointed, we will not be deterred from our goal of passing a comprehensive smoke-free indoor workplace law that will protect all Texas employees and customers from the dangers of secondhand smoke,” said Claudia Rodas, co-chairwoman of Smoke-Free Texas, a broad coalition of organizations and individuals that support a statewide smoke-free workplace law.

Before the session started, anti-smoking groups were optimistic that they had built enough momentum over the past three sessions to finally get a bill passed.

A poll by Baselice and Associates Inc. of more than 800 people across various ideological and political affiliations found that 74 percent of Texas voters favor a proposed statewide law that would eliminate smoking in all indoor workplaces, including public buildings, offices, restaurants and bars...