THROWBACK THURSDAY: Smoking fines stiffen

Mid-’70s law alludes to end of public smoking

New+legislation+in+1975+imposed+strict+punishment+for+smoking+in+prohibited+areas+as+part+of+a+relatively+new+movement.+The+Americana+theater%2C+which+used+to+have+a+designated+smoking+area%2C+is+now+the+Yarborough+branch+of+the+Austin+Public+Library+system.

Sally Butler

New legislation in 1975 imposed strict punishment for smoking in prohibited areas as part of a relatively new movement. The Americana theater, which used to have a designated smoking area, is now the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library system.

Kelly Martin and Kathy Murchison

“No smoking. Smoking is prohibited by state law. Violations are punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.”

Students and faculty noticed this as they came into the building the first week of school.

Even though school officials now have the right to call in the law to take care of breaches of this policy, it is felt that there will probably be no need to do so.”

According to the Limited Smoking Bill of Texas Legislature recently passed, smoking is now illegal in public facilities, secondary schools, elevators, movie houses, enclosed theaters, libraries, museums, transit system buses, inter-state buses, planes and trains. Violation of this bill is considered a Class C misdemeanor with a fine not to exceed $200.

It is legal to smoke in designated areas in public places. The Americana theater follows this example by naming the side section of the theater for smokers.

Assistant Principal Mr. Roy Coers said, “I have always thought it a matter of politeness not to smoke in certain places. I am really sorry that a law has had to take the place of politeness.”

The new bill really doesn’t have a drastic effect on students here. “I can’t see that it has made any difference, students never smoked in the building before,” said Kathy Peeples.

If a student is caught smoking in the halls, he or she will be school disciplined. Depending upon the severity of the case, the student will be reprimanded.

An ash try, cigarette pack and Alamo-branded lighter are pictured inside an Alamo Drafthouse movie theater. According to the Limited Smoking Bill of Texas Legislature passed in the 1970s, smoking is now illegal in public facilities, secondary schools, elevators, movie houses, enclosed theaters, libraries, museums, transit system buses, inter-state buses, planes and trains. Photo accessed on the Sean Mason Flickr account. Reposted here with permission under a creative commons license.

Even though school officials now have the right to call in the law to take care of breaches of this policy, it is felt that there will probably be no need to do so.

“I don’t anticipate that any case will arise where we need to have the law to handle smoking problems at McCallum,” Mr. Coers said .

Students were never allowed to smoke in the building, so it is really only the faculty who have to watch where they “light up.”

This story was originally published in The Shield on Sept. 26, 1975.