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News Summary

Lawmakers to hear testimony on statewide smoking ban

Publication Date: 4/14/2009
  • Author:QUITA CULPEPPER
  • Publication:KVUE

The last safe havens for smokers may not be safe for long.

Experts say secondhand smoke kills 53,000 non-smokers a year and is a known cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other health problems.

That's a big reason why advocates of Senate Bill 544 say it has to pass. Tuesday afternoon, members of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hear testimony on the measure, which would make all public and indoor workplaces in Texas, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free.

The bill would also keep cities with smoke-free ordinaces, like Austin, from allowing any smoking exceptions. Right now, Austin has grandfathered in some bars and restaurants, like Trudy's. That means you can smoke there as long as certain ventilation systems are in place. The state bill would end that.