New Mexico Smoking Ban

Ashtrays may be a thing of the past in bars and restaurants in New Mexico.

A bill ready for a vote in the senate could ban smoking in all workplaces across the state.

Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg spent the afternoon in Clovis talking with bar employees worried about how it will affect their business.

She joins us live to explain their concern.

Most people we spoke with hope the smoking ban fails in the Senate.

For business reasons, and also because they are smokers themselves.

Light up in your favorite bar in New Mexico while you can, because it may soon be illegal.

A bill to ban smoking in public places is doing well in the Senate.

And that's bad news for places like princes lounge in Clovis.

"It will affect sales a lot because they come here to have a drink and to smoke," says Monkey Padilla, a bartender and smoker.

"We sell cigarettes, if we couldn't sell them we'd lose out on some money," says waitress and smoker.

If the bill passes employees say they are considering changing this back room to a patio so smokers have a place.

Smokers say what really bothers them is they feel their freedoms are being taken away from them.

"I figure it's up to you, you're a grown adult, do what you want to do," says Padilla.

Most people in bars and cafes we spoke with agree with that line of thinking, but restaurant workers felt differently.

They were indifferent about the ban because they don't think it will have a huge impact on their business.

The bill has already been passed by the House and sailed through Senate committees this week.

It is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow in the Senate, and could be on Governor Bill Richardson's desk by Friday.