Senator says smoking ban measure is dead

AUSTIN (AP) - The Senate author of a proposed statewide ban on
smoking in most indoor public places, including bars and restaurants, says he has given up on the proposal for this session.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he doesn't have a votes to get it passed before the June 1 end of the legislative session. Ellis scheduled a news conference for later in the day.

Supporters of the measure, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the American Cancer Society and multiple medical groups, said a ban is needed to protect public health.

But the ban ran into strong opposition from civil libertarians and business owners.

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