The bill was introduced by Houston Senator Rodney Ellis. It would ban smoking in indoor public places, including public and private worksites. It would include restaurants, restaurant bars and stand-alone bars. Ellis says smoking bans are spreading across the state.
"Cities across our state are moving on this issue. As stated earlier 16 states have already taken action. It's time for Texas to move forward."
14 cities have passed comprehensive smoking bans and 47 others have passed limited anti-smoking measures. Houston's ordinance will expand to bars in September. Smoke-Free Texas, a coalition supporting the legislation, commissioned a poll showing 71 percent of Texans support statewide legislation for a smoking ban. Ellis says he's looking for bipartisan support in the legislature. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.