For the second time in two years, the San Marcos city council is considering strengthening the city's smoking rules.
Right now you can light up in bars and certain restaurants. Some business owners say if that changes it will hurt their bottom line.
"This hits my customers directly, hits me directly," business owner Johnny Finch said.
Fitch has been in San Marcos for decades. He said the council should let customers decide if smoking is right for them.
"My customers know when they come in my business that we have smoking,” Finch said. “My employees that I hire are aware of this. You vote with your feet. If you do not like what you see then go somewhere else."
The council also heard from ban supporters, who say smoking doesn't fit with the clean, natural image the city tries to promote.
"Regrettably, a minor con for San Marcos is its failure to have a smoke-free policy for all indoor environments," city resident Celeste Monforton said.
The proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking in public places, in parks and near doors and windows. The council may consider expanding that to include outdoor seating areas and rooftops.
Some bar owners are hoping the city council will soften its position.
"Watering holes like mine, I don't serve food, I don't serve kids, it's all of age to come in there,” local bar owner Allen Manning said. “Can you think possible of a grandfather clause for some of us?"
But, it may not be legal in San Marcos public spaces much longer.
The council will hear more public input on the proposed smoking ban at its next meeting. If it's approved, the ban could take effect as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
"I read the ordinance. I'd like to make one point. Smoking is still legal in this country," Finch said.
Fines for violating the ordinance would range from $200 to $2,000.