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North Texas Rep. Pushing For Statewide Smoking Ban

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A man smokes a cigarette outside of a no-smoking building. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A man smokes a cigarette outside of a no-smoking building. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas representative has filed a bill to make all businesses in the state smoke-free.

Denton Republican Myra Crownover says House Bill 400 is targeted to protect employees from second-hand smoke. “We feel like in Texas you shouldn’t have to choose between your health and your job. They [employees] don’t need to have to switch jobs just to protect their own health.”

Texas has no comprehensive smoke-free workplace law. Smoking ordinances vary from city to city, and county to county.

Crownover said the bill will help Texas workers in rural areas and unincorporated cities. She wants them to have the same options as people who patronize businesses. “The customer can walk in and walk right back out if they want to,” she said. “My bill is specifically targeted to the employees.”

This isn’t the first time a smoking ban bill has been proposed in the Texas House. In both 2007 and 2011 bills passed in the house but were squashed in the state Senate, never even getting to a vote.

If House Bill 400 were to become law violators would be fined between $50 and $500. Crownover said the proposed punishment is more than reasonable. “I think it’s a very respectful thing and Texans are respectful people. I think it’s very respectful to ask them to kindly take their cigarettes outside.”

Smoking ordinances across North Texas vary from 100-percent smoke-free in Dallas, to separately ventilated smoking areas in Fort Worth, to mixed and limited smoking areas in Irving and Arlington.

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