WHAT IS SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against smoking tobacco prohibits smoking a cigarette, e-cigarette, or other tobacco product, or holding a burning tobacco product in a school, elevator, theater, library, museum, hospital, bus, place, or public train.
WHAT IS THE SMOKING TOBACCO LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 48.01. SMOKING TOBACCO.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person is in possession of a burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates an e-cigarette in a facility of a public primary or secondary school or an elevator, enclosed theater or movie house, library, museum, hospital, transit system bus, intrastate bus, plane, or train which is a public place.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the conveyance or public place in which the offense takes place does not have prominently displayed a reasonably sized notice that smoking is prohibited by state law in such conveyance or public place and that an offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
(c) All conveyances and public places set out in Subsection (a-1) shall be equipped with facilities for extinguishment of smoking materials and it shall be a defense to prosecution under this section if the conveyance or public place within which the offense takes place is not so equipped.
(d) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a-1) if the person is in possession of the burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates the e-cigarette exclusively within an area designated for smoking tobacco or operating an e-cigarette or as a participant in an authorized theatrical performance.
(e) An area designated for smoking tobacco or operating an e-cigarette on a transit system bus or intrastate plane or train must also include the area occupied by the operator of the transit system bus, plane, or train.
(f) An offense under this section is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
Smoking tobacco is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for smoking tobacco, a Class C misdemeanor, is no jail time, and a maximum $500 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
A person charged with smoking tobacco may be placed on deferred adjudication for up to 180 days. If convicted of smoking tobacco, a Class C misdemeanor, the person will be subject only to a fine, and no jail time or community supervision requirements.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
The statute permits a person accused of smoking tobacco to raise a defense if the place in which a person was illegally smoking did not have prominently displayed signs that smoking is prohibited, or did not have equipment designed for extinguishing burning tobacco products.
A person may not be charged with smoking tobacco if the person smoked in a designated area used for that purpose.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for smoking tobacco, a Class C misdemeanor, is two years.
SMOKING TOBACCO IN TEXAS
Texas law prohibits smoking in a limited number of public enclosed places for the purpose of maintaining public health. Cities and counties have authority to further limit the places in which people are permitted to smoke tobacco products.
TEXAS SMOKING TOBACCO COURT CASES
The case law regarding smoking tobacco in Texas shows appellate courts’ deference to cities and counties with respect to enacting smoking ordinances.
- In American Veterans, Department of Texas, et. al. v. Abbott, plaintiffs, American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, sought to invalidate anti-smoking ordinances in Austin and Dallas. The appellate court dismissed suit, holding no justiciable controversy existed. The argument made by the plaintiffs was that they would lose customers in their bingo halls, but had not yet suffered a loss. The appellate court dismissed suit, as the plaintiffs did not seek injunctive relief, and the court did not have jurisdiction otherwise.