KEYE-TV - Search Results
Another Push For A Statewide Smoking Ban Begins
State Senator Rodney Ellis is not giving up on a bill that would ban smoking in public places statewide. It’s his third attempt to get it passed by the Texas legislature. Senator Ellis said he wants to make Texas the 30th state to go smoke free by next year.
For the last 60 years, Red Rooster's in Pflugerville has been a smoking establishment. It's a habit, manager Jeff Partridge is not interested in breaking. He told KEYETV 95 percent of his customers smoke tobacco at the bar.
“We would take a big hit in clientele,” Partridge said while shaking his head. “It would hurt us a lot.”
Senator Ellis wants to take the statewide smoke ban further than just restaurants and bars. He wants to ban smoking inside all businesses as well.
“If I’m paying for my business I should be able to make the rules for what goes on in here,” said Tony Mignone, who opened Dutchman’s Tires in Pflugerville two months ago.
He told us all of his employees smoke inside his warehouse.
“I don't like a smoke break, it wastes time and it wastes money,” he explained. “As long as they're moving tires, rolling them up, stacking ‘em up, doing what they need to do, you can smoke in here.”
A few blocks away, Hanover’s Draught Haus is one of the city's most popular hangouts, despite the owners voluntarily going smoke free ten months ago.
“We did have a little negative feedback for about a three month period,” said owner Wyen Tran.
Tran, who is a smoker himself, said he made the decision to ban lighting up inside after receiving dozens of complaints on Google and Yahoo about the smoky environment. He said it has been the best decision he has made a business owner.
“We did not lose any business at all,” he said. “We actually gained business just by doing that.”
Other hot spots aren't so sure.
“I think we get more business because it is a smoking bar,” Partridge countered.
Austin was the first city in the state to ban smoking in bars in restaurants back in 2005. In the last eight years more than 40 other Texas cities, have approved ordinances limiting smoking.
No word from Ellis' camp on how much it would cost the state to implement a statewide smoking ban.
By Katherine Stolp