Alice, Texas Passes Smoking Ban
The Alice, Texas City Council passed a smoking ban ordinance on Thursday that bans smoking in public places, save for a few exceptions that include cigar shops which were able to obtain a waiver. So we know what frame of mind Alice is in, they recently passed a $110 fine for allowing the parking meter to expire over the two hour limit.
Mayor Larry Martinez requested to put the smoking ban to a public vote however the council passed the ordinance which amended the existing smoking ban and created a criminal penalty for violation that could reach $2,000 without allowing the public to vote on it.
The Cigar Shop exception allowed for a sigh of relief for Cigar stores and patrons but still highlights the overall trend within the United States to crack down on tobacco products allowing for the traditional exception of premium cigars.
This has been an ever growing trend since the mid to late 1990’s and has recently accelerated in the aftermath of the Great Recession mostly in the form of increased taxes on cigars and other tobacco products rather than outright bans such as what Alice, just did.
We do not fully comprehend why Alice, Texas (population 20,000) took this approach but having a couple of pretty drastic rules passes (parking, smoking) in a row like this starts to show a trend.