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Lawmakers say Texas needs statewide smoking ban

Publication Date: 2008-12-25
  • Author:AP
  • Publication:Houston Chronicle

The recently expanded smoking ban in Dallas may give a proposed statewide ban some momentum, Texas lawmakers said.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, said they plan to file a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would ban smoking in indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Though opponents say a ban would violate personal liberties and hurt their livelihoods, 24 states have passed similar measures.

Crownover and Ellis filed the same proposal in 2007. A watered-down version passed the House, but the Senate proposal stalled in committee. Since then, Dallas and Corpus Christi have strengthened smoke-free laws, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation has made a statewide ban its top priority in Texas.

The proposed statewide law would not take precedence over stricter city ordinances.

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