Sara Story, NBCDFW.com
A Denton lawmaker is proposing a statewide smoking ban, saying it will save lives and money.
Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, is sponsoring a bill that would ban smoking in workplaces and most indoor public places.
Jimmy Meredith, the owner of Sweetwater Grill and Tavern in Denton, said he would support a measure like Crownover's, which would allow smoking on outdoor patios.
"(In) some cities, you can't smoke within so many feet of a restaurant. Well, that's too restrictive," he said.
Meredith said he allows smoking in his restaurant out of loyalty to his customers.
"Once we set our precedence, it's really difficult to change," he said.
But a statewide ban would relieve him from making the decision, he said.
"That seems like a cop-out on my part, but it is what it is, I suppose," Meredith said.
However, not all restaurant owners are on the same page.
"I think it should be up to the owners and the guests," said Tim Trawick, the owner of the Abbey Inn Restaurant and Pub and the Abbey Underground in Denton.
Proponents of the ban argue that employees should not have to work amid secondhand smoke.
"I think there are enough options for people to work in nonsmoking environments," Trawick said.
Meredith also said that people could choose not to work in smoking environments.