KEYE-TV - Search Results
Commissioners Ban Tobacco Products On Travis County Property
Travis County Commissioners approved one of the most widespread smoking bans in Central Texas Tuesday. The ban prohibits all tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on county property and buildings, both indoors and out.
Adam Reposa, is an Austin attorney and said he wants to stop smoking but doesn't think the government should tell him how or where to quit.
"When I think that I can smoke in public and then I think they are trying to take away assault rifles, it makes me think what's next?" Reposa said. "What are they going to take from us next?"
Smoking is already prohibited 15 feet away from county doors, and the new policy will go into effect on April 7.
Those in favor said the all-out ban reduces second-hand smoke, is better for the environment and saves tax payer money.
Travis County Health Services estimate smoking in the county costs more than $460 million each year. Of that cost $305 million is spent on healthcare and $155 million is from lost worker productivities.
Doctor Phil Huang, the Travis County Medical Director, said the ban is socially responsible.
"Cigarette related fires are the number one fire related deaths in Austin and Travis County," Huang said. "We estimate about 570 or so deaths each year in Travis County alone are due to tobacco, so that's about 11 every single week."
Huang also said the ban would help visitors to county property and employees quit smoking. The county said they will provide programs to help staff kick the habit.
By Cassie Gallo