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EDITORIAL: Smoking ban: Texas should follow El Paso

Publication Date: 4/16/2009
  • Author:El Paso Times Staff
  • Publication:El Paso Times

Texas would be wise to look at El Paso's no-smoking ordinance and then pass a similar statewide ban. In 2002, City Council passed what were then the most stringent no-smoking laws in Texas. Opponents worried it would hurt business owners. Our ordinance covers restaurants, bars and public venues.

Business was not hurt, and data continue to show the no-smoking ordinance has had no negative effect on El Paso businesses.

A bill now in the Texas House would adopt a smoking ban similar to El Paso's, and extend it to a smoking ban at outdoor public venues, and also within 10 feet of places where smoking is not allowed.

Whereas El Paso's ordinance was a trend-setter in Texas, there are already 25 states that prohibit smoking in most public places. There are 28 cities in Texas that have adopted smoke-free ordinances, including Austin, Dallas and Houston.