Lance Armstrong has publicly given his support to a campaign to ban smoking in the US state of Texas – the seven-times Tour de France winner’s home state.

Armstrong was in Austin on Thursday as part of a rally to urge authorities in Texas to ban smoking in bars, restaurants, the workplace and other indoor public areas.

Armstrong’s cancer awareness organisation – the Lance Armstrong Foundation – is part of a coalition of cancer charities appealing to Texas lawmakers to introduce the smoking ban to prevent cancer caused by ‘second hand smoke’.

“This is something that is very, very personal for me,” Armstrong is reported in the International Herald Tribune to have said at the rally.

“Having lived this life as a cancer survivor for the last 12 years, I think I know it personally and deeply and I think I have a pretty good understanding of how you go about defeating cancer.”

Armstrong suffered from testicular cancer in 1996, which spread to his brain and lungs. He went on to make a full recovery and subsequently win the Tour de France. He is now one of America’s foremost cancer campaigners, and has said his comeback to competitive cycling this year is to give worldwide publicity to his cancer awareness campaign.

He has just completed the Tour Down Under, his first stage race since retiring three years ago. His next race is the Tour of California, which starts on February 14.

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