Nicotine Blues: After Dallas Ban, State Lawmakers Look to Snuff the Smokes

Two weeks after the city council expanded Dallas's smoking ordinance, state lawmakers are, yet again, looking to make all of Texas's indoor businesses smoke-free. At least, those are the smoke signals being sent by state Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston and state Rep. Myra Crownover of Denton, who yesterday told the Austin American-Statesman that when the Legislature gets back to work in mid-January, they'll file a bill calling for the outlawing of smoking in bars and restaurants -- a proposal that didn't get out of the state Senate a year ago. Among the reasons for the redo: the Dallas ban and Lance Armstrong's involvement.

But at least one Dallas lawmaker thinks legislators have more pressing business than snuffing smokes. Right, state Rep. Terri Hodge? "I think it's just a bit intrusive, to tell you the truth," she tells the Statesman. "We have many, many issues we could be working on that would benefit the people far more." --Robert Wilonsky

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