Smoking ban lives again

Never say never when the Lege is in session.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 19-1 to recommend their colleagues approve HB 46, designed to stop secondhand smoke from polluting the air and lungs for others.

“It’s the No. 1 public health issue for this session. It’s the No. 1 clean air issue in this session,” said bill author Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, who succeeded her late husband 11 years ago after he passed away from cancer.


The Texas ban would only apply to public places, which would not affect a VFW hall, she noted. Businesses that are licensed by the Texas Health Department or the Alcoholic Beverage Commission would be affected.

“This is not a ‘nanny state’ bill. This bill is about asthma that kills people. It’s about heart attacks,” she said.

The pool hall industry opposes an indoor smoking ban because about 70 percent of its customers are hard-core smokers, said Philip Robert Brinson, general counsel for Fast Eddie’s Billiards, which operates 18 pool halls in Texas.

“It’s a niche business. It’s a pool hall. (Customers) know people smoke. That’s why they go,” the Houston lawyer told the Appropriations Committee.

Here’s HB46. As this was able to pass the House once, the only real question is whether or not the votes are there in the Senate. With the 2/3 rule not being in effect, it’s possible it could pass. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if there is majority support for it, just not 21 votes. We’ll find out soon enough.

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