EL PASO, Texas —When people talk about the dangers of smoking, they are usually focused on the health risks, and hardly on the damage that cigarette pollution does on the environment. People walking the streets of El Paso can see the beautiful Franklin mountains that rise from the city and the brilliant red sunsets. As they appreciate the unique environment, they also can see cigarette butts littering the sidewalks. Cigarette butts are all over the UTEP campus, especially on the floor next to the cigarette ashtrays. Dr. Elizabeth Walsh, a biology professor and a member of an environmental advocacy group, said she usually see smokers outside the biology building flip their cigarette butts right next to ashtray.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Step into any local bar on a Friday night and you’ll likely find yourself engulfed in a sea of smokers—and smoke—a scene San Antonio’s City Council wants to change. Only one of three major U.S. cities that still allows smoking in public restaurants and bars, the Alamo City is embroiled in a heated debate over a citywide smoking ban and the right to light up in public places. “I’m guessing bar business will go down by 21%,” said Diamond Dave, general manager of the popular Downtown bar and grill, Broadway 50/50. He makes this prediction on the heels of the hot-button issue approved by the City Council in August., The updated smoke-free ordinance takes effect Aug. 19, 2011 “I see it affecting our business pretty adversely,” he said.