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Poll shows Texans want smoke-free workplace

POSTED: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 5:52pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Smoke-Free Texas says a new opinion poll shows widespread support for smoke-free workplaces across the state.

They say 70 percent of Texas voters support banning smoking in indoor work and public places, including your favorite restaurant or bar. They say politicians want it too.

County Commissioner Ben Perry says he's seen first hand the effects of second-hand smoke.

"I have a relative who is a statistic, one of the 53,000 that die yearly from second hand smoke, and it was a relative of 54 years of age that passed away this past June. So, I see the immediate effect it has on families, and I support the legislation," said Commissioner Perry

That legislation would stop exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace.

A poll conducted after the legislation was filed shows 85 percent of Texans believe second hand smoke is a health hazard, and 63 percent would vote for legislators who support smoke free laws.

We spoke to George's Restaurant who has separate rooms and ventilation for smoking customers.

People have been known to wait nearly two hours just to sit in a place where they can smoke, and managers say changing the way they do things could hurt business.

They say businesses are already struggling in this bad economy, and smoking bans would hurt them even more.

"When you put other burdens, economic burdens on the restaurants or on your businesses, other than just operating and you're already having economic problems, then I just think it's not reasonable to ask them to at this point," said George's Manager, Paula Owen.

George's says it's important for all customers to feel comfortable and keep their rights.

However, the poll shows 76 percent of people think the non-smoker's rights trump the smoker's rights.

Commissioner Perry believes people are more educated than ever on the effects of second hand smoke, and changes will be coming.

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