Tribpedia: Smoking Ban

Legislation implementing a statewide smoking ban died in the 2009 session, but lawmakers say they'll bring the measure back again.

The bill debated during 2009 would've banned smoking in all public places, mirroring ordinances in more than 20 Texas cities. About half of House and Senate members publicly supported the measure.

Texas Capitol
Texas Capitol

Session's End Creates Graveyard of Dead Legislation

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The system is meant to kill legislation: That’s the old line most often heard around the Capitol. And right about now, as the session's end slams the coffin door on a slew of bills, more than a few lawmakers are taking solace in the fact that their dead bills have plenty of company.

Smoking Ban Officially Snuffed?

Hope for a Smoke-Free Texas seems officially snuffed. Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, says the statewide smoking ban will not live on as an amendment to Senate Bill 1811: “It was a combination of bad public policy, in my opinion, and the realization that there weren’t the votes.”

In Hunt for Revenue, It's Big Tobacco vs. Little

It’s big tobacco vs. little tobacco in the effort to smoke out new revenue for the Texas budget. Large tobacco companies, which fork over half a billion dollars to the state every year as part of a 1998 lawsuit settlement, want small cigarette manufacturers to pay their share. They’re backing a measure that would tax the small manufacturers to raise tens of millions of dollars per biennium.

Lance Armstrong at a TribLive event on April 21, 2011.
Lance Armstrong at a TribLive event on April 21, 2011.

Audio: Lance Armstrong at TribLive

At Thursday's TribLive conversation, I interviewed Lance Armstrong about the need to protect cancer research funding in austere times and his advocacy on behalf of an indoor workplace smoking ban.

Experts, Business Owners Weigh In on Smoking Ban

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Lighting up in bars, restaurants or other workplaces across Texas will be a way of the past if state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Lake Dallas, gets her way. Crownover has again introduced a bill that would prohibit smoking in indoor areas of most businesses, health care facilities and sporting venues.

Will Smoking Cuts Add to Health Care Costs?

Finding ways to cut health care costs is all the rage under the Pink Dome — and curbing smoking is a proven way to do it. But both the House and Senate budget proposals slash tobacco cessation programs by more than 80 percent, or $20 million over the biennium. Health care advocates argue that the money, which comes from a multibillion dollar lawsuit settled with big tobacco companies, is supposed to be used for anti-smoking education.

The Texas Tribune Weekly TribCast: Ep 65

In this week's TribCast, Evan, Ross, Reeve and Ben discuss the budget's structural deficit, the effort to repeal health care reform, the back-and-forth over House District 48 and if 2011 will be the year Texas bans smoking.