AUSTIN (KXAN) - The city of Austin could consider expanding its smoking ban. Some want a ban to prohibit smoking on outdoor patios at restaurants and bars.
Austin Travis County Department of Health and Human Services Department says they first learned of the push from the city commission, Early Childhood Council.
General manager Garrett Edwards at Doc's on South Congress Ave. says he thinks banning smoking outside on patios is crossing the line.
"We only allow it on the designated area which is the outward most part of the patio," Edwards said.
But those restrictions in place at Doc's might not be smoke-free enough anymore.
People eating at Cain and Abel's in west campus Thursday had mixed views.
"That second hand smoke is pretty bad," said Aber Kanafani.
"I don't personally smoke myself, but I think it's fine on a patio," said Gulmina Shah, "I don't think there's anything wring with it."
Health and Human services says Early Childhood Council is asking the city to consider this outdoor ban--freeing the air of second hand smoke.
"It's estimated over 7,000 chemicals, including 250 that are known to cause harm, and 69 known carcinogens," Dr. Phil Huang with Health and Human Services said of second hand smoke.
The indoor smoking ban for restaurants and bars went into place in 2005, some think taking it outside is taking too far..
"Whatever the business allows," said Shah.
Edwards agreed, "I think that it's something that should be left up to the owners. I understand the thought behind it."
If this new push comes to fruition, he expects a similar reaction to the indoor ban years ago.
"Everyone's going to get upset about it. It could cause problems, could cause a little dip in business, but I think its something that eventually people would get over and come back and realize, hey, it is what it is," said Edwards.
Dr. Huang says about 15 to 17 percent of people in Travis County say they smoke.
At this point there's no official ordinance or proposal for the city to make it law.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.