SAN MARCOS, Texas -- A proposed smoking ban split San Marcos two years ago. On Tuesday city council members voted to push it forward. The ordinance being discussed would ban smoking on any city property and in San Marcos bars and restaurants.
For some bar patrons a cigarette with their drink is standard. But if a ban on smoking goes into effect that won't be an option inside San Marcos bars and restaurants.
I'll just go home and drink my beer at the house, said smoker David Morrison. I hope they don't pass it.
My concern is the effect it's going to have on local business. A lot of people enjoy going to the bar scene in San Marcos as opposed to Austin because they do allow smoking inside, said bar customer Christian Marrero.
Its time for us to move into the 21st century, even if we are 13 years behind everybody else. Please continue to support [this], one woman said during public comment period at the council meeting.
Members gave unanimous approval on the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday.
This is an effort not only from a health perspective but also a tourism, economic-development perspective, explained Mayor Daniel Guerrero.
Mayor Guerrero says despite some concerns he thinks a ban might actually help San Marcos businesses.
When you look at some of the other communities that have already implemented this type of ordinance, a majority indicate that there was not a negative impact on their business, he said.
And some smokers say they don't mind stepping outside.
I have no problem with stepping outside and smoking a cigarette, doesn't bother me, it's only a few feet out the door, Marrero added.
We have customers that smoke, we have customers that don't smoke, said Taproom General Manager Brazos Pape.
Pape says no matter what the city decides it will be business as usual.
Smoking or non-smoking, we'll still have the same atmosphere, same beer and great food that we've always had, he said.
As it stands now, the ordinance does allow for smoking on outdoor patios. The second and final vote on the ban will be October 2nd.