Cigar Aficionado

Texas Fails to Pass Smoking Ban—Twice

Twice nanny state lawmakers in Texas attempted to pass a statewide smoking ban in the most recent legislative session, and twice they failed.

Senate Bill 28 and its counterpart, House Bill 46, sought to prohibit lighting up in most public indoor venues. While both bills included exemptions for cigar shops, cigar bars, cigar manufacturers and convention centers, each would have banned smoking in every Texas bar and restaurant.

Despite being re-introduced during a special extended legislative session, neither versions of the smoking ban made it to a vote before lawmakers adjourned on June 30.

For several years now, lawmakers who oppose smoking have tried to instigate a statewide smoking ban in the Lone Star State, one of the largest cigar markets in the country, but with little success. (Local smoking bans do exist, including some of the larger municipalities like Austin and Dallas.)

"Regarding the Texas smoking ban, we are certainly pleased it did not become law," said Chris McCalla, legislative director for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer association.

For more on this story, see tomorrow's Cigar Insider.

"Stop Goverment from telling us all what to do. We are smart enough to decide. Do not let the goverment more power. Less is better and always has been as Thomas Jefferson subscribed. While we may need a Goverment to protect us from Foreign Invaders or Threats, we do not need one to tell us we cannot have a cigar in a resturant after a nice meal. The resturants can have both smoking and non-smoking areas or be all smoking or all non-smoking and give the public and the privateer the decision to make themself. We need people to read more about Thomas Jefferson and even Ronald Reagan. " —July 15, 2011 17:10 PM
"That's because you like in Maryland, try living in the scorching Texas heat, then you will crave smoking indoors. When it's 105 outside, you can try to enjoy a stick as sweat pours off you, it doesn't work well. I agree that restaurants should be non-smoking, but bars should have the choice everywhere. " —July 12, 2011 11:36 AM
"Eh, I've never really wanted to smoke in a restaurant or bar so badly anyway. I prefer a nice relaxing smoke on the porch after a day of work to a smoke in a restaurant. I know that many people don't like the smell of cigars, and I don't really want to ruin someone's meal. Honestly, as long as I can smoke when I make my trips to the cigar lounge, I'm happy." —July 11, 2011 22:11 PM
"Let individual locations decide on their policy. If non-smokers don't want to go somewhere because of smokers...don't go. If smokers don't want to go somewhere because of a non-smoking policy, don't go. Ahh, the good ol' days of making a choice. Before government decided what was right for people instead of individuals. Good for you Texas!" —July 11, 2011 19:19 PM