The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA),, Board of Directors on Feb. 16 voted to support a statewide smoking ban that would level the playing field and reduce confusion that has stemmed from the variety of bans enacted at the local level. According to TRA, the only equitable solution is to apply a smoking ban across all workplaces and jurisdictions.

"TRA members recognize that the current disparities that exist in smoking bans enacted at the local level have had a detrimental impact on the restaurant industry in Texas," said Richie Jackson, TRA executive vice president and CEO, in a press statement. "By applying an equitable ban that is enforced in all workplaces, we will ensure a level playing field and the $35 billion Texas restaurant industry will continue its vital role in our state's economy."

TRA will continue to work with smoking ban legislation sponsors Sen. Rodney Ellis and Rep. Myra Crownover as the legislation moves forward.

TRA, formed in 1937, is made up of more than 100 restaurateurs from across the state and serves as the advocate and resource for the hospitality and foodservice industry.