Amarillo, Texas - The debate over a tobacco-free Texas is heating up. The proposed smoking ban is currently being discussed in both the state house and the state senate.
It would essentially limit smoking to private homes and designated hotel rooms, with very few exceptions. A similar bill came close to passing back in 2009... Making its way through the house and moved out of committee in the senate.
This time around, lawmakers say they have a lot to take into account before passing a state-wide smoking ban.
State Senator Kel Seliger says, "Is the government responsible for your complete and total protection when you realize that people are also going to let you buy and consume poly unsaturated fats? You can still buy cigarettes and consume them and things like that. So, what degree is government responsible to protect you from yourself? what about personal freedom and personal responsibility?"
The Texas Department of State Health Services says smoke free legislation would reduce spending on hospitalizations for heart attacks, strokes and respiratory illnesses by nearly 10% in 2012 alone... And add up to millions of dollars in state savings over time.