Texas House Pushes Smoking Ban

Texas – The Texas House has approved a measure to ban smoking in public places across Texas.

After hours of debate over property rights, personal rights and public health, state representatives added the measure to a fiscal matters law. The bill was approved 73-66.

Before it can come into force, the bill must still pass through a conference committee and be signed by the governor.

The sponsor of the amendment, Denton state Rep. Myra Crownover, said the bill will save $30 million a year in health care costs associated with smoking.

She faced fierce opposition from some fellow Republicans, including Rep. David Simpson, who tried to also ban perfume and cologne in public places. But he was shut down by Republican Rep. Lois Kolkhorst who said he was mocking cancer patients.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.