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.