BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — There is no large scale smoking ban in many Hill Country towns but few businesses actually allow it.
After hearing about national pharmacy retailer CVS’s decision to stop selling tobacco products, many residents in the Hill Country thought it sounded like a smart decision.
“It’s fine with me,” said Sonny Wilson of Burnet. “I’m personally not a smoker, or a dipper, or use nicotine, but I’m sure people are going to have issues about it, but me personally, I think it’s a great idea.”
The Maxican, like other restaurants in town, have long since banned smoking inside. Smokers can only light up outside, per the restaurant policy.
Burnet does have a smoking ban, but it only applies to buildings the city owns and operates. Anyone else can make their own rules.
“I’m OK when cities put these ordinances in place because that’s essentially a reflection of the community’s opinion,” added Chad Nelson. “But on a business by business when there is no ordinance, I think that’s where it needs to be done.”
Down the road in Marble Falls, the city’s smoking ban only applies to convenience and grocery stores. Earlier this week, Williamson County expanded their four-year smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes.
“There was a lot of pressure from the kids to quit,” said Brett Ballard, who quit smoking 10 years ago and never looked back. “I dont enjoy smoke filled rooms any more like I did when I was younger. The pressure was on you at restaurants and everywhere you went to not smoke.”
Neither Burnet nor Marble Falls have any plans to ban smoking citywide. San Marcos’ smoking smoking ban will include all bars and restaurants, and vapor cigarettes will be included in their ban. Hays County banned smoking in their buildings two years ago.
As far as CVS, they say they will be giving up about $2 billion in annual sales. The decision came as the pharmacy giant works to become a major player in the health care industry. Company leaders said tobacco should not be sold where pharmacists and nurse practitioners work every day to help patients get well. The company set an Oct. 1 deadline to stop selling tobacco products.