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News Summary

Smoke isn’t clearing as Legislature nears end

Publication Date: 5/23/2009
  • Author:Robert Rivard
  • Publication:San Antonio (TX) Express-News

When this year's session of the Texas Legislature officially closes June 1 at midnight, Texas will not be a healthier place to live and breathe. Big Tobacco won again.

In a city with a weak anti-smoking ordinance, visitors arriving at the San Antonio International Airport will still emerge with their luggage to a curbside of smokers fouling the shared air. Welcome to San Antonio.

Secondhand smoke will still be on the menu at many local restaurants...

Even North Carolina, the No. 1 tobacco state in the nation, just passed a bill banning smoking in public places, becoming the 28th state to do so.

"How it was killed is a big mystery," said Jeremy Warren, Ellis' communications director. "Texans want this to happen, but the tobacco industry knows how to fight these fights. It's always easier to kill a bill behind the scenes than in the light of the day."