Lufkin smokers skeptical of statewide smoking ban

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you can picture a world where smoking is illegal, the Center for Disease Control says you've just imagined 2020.

A new CDC study shows in about a decade the entire nation could have laws banning smoking in all indoor areas of private sector worksites, restaurants or bars.

"No, I don't think it's realistic," said smoker Charles Schmitzer. "One they can't enforce it. They can't enforce drugs, how are they going to enforce cigarettes?"

The projection is based on the rate that states are adopting comprehensive smoke-free laws. Texas is not one of those states and in fact, right now, there's no statewide smoking restrictions in places like private worksites, restaurants, and bars.

"There's too many people in Texas who smoke and they like to go places where they can smoke and they don't have to worry about if it's against the law or not," said Tammy Largent, an employee at Smoky T's Tobacco Shop.

For some it's a world they've been trying to create.

One Lufkin group is spreading the word about adopting a city-wide smoke-free ordinance.

"The cost of smoking-related illnesses for all of us, from a tax standpoint, from the cost for Medicare and Medicaid is phenomenal and if we can tackle this one issue, we all benefit," said Dr. Sidney C. Roberts.

One politician says as it stands now, a ban in Texas isn't realistic.

"If someone is out there, paying for their own health care, I don't know if I should have any input as a member of the legislature in how they use what has been deemed a legal substance," said state Representative James White.

The CDC says secondhand smoke kills tens of thousands of non-smokers each year.

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