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Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

Smoke-free Houston, ten years later

From the inbox: It’s been 50 years since the release of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health and the harmful consequences from the use of tobacco. 2016 marks the 10th year of the adoption of Ordinance No. 2006-1054 prohibiting indoor smoking in Houston public areas and places of employment. Individuals could no longer […]

Texas tobacco litigation, 20 years later

Interesting look at something I don’t think about very much. Twenty years ago, then-Texas Attorney General Dan Morales filed a federal lawsuit accusing the tobacco industry of racketeering and fraud. He said the case would make Big Tobacco change how it did business, force the cigarette companies to make less dangerous products and stop the […]

Why are some people more likely to smoke than others?

From the CDC: American adults who are uninsured or on Medicaid smoke at rates more than double those for adults with private health insurance or Medicare, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey […]

Banning e-cigarette sales to minors

You’d think this would have a decent chance of passing. Legislators in Texas, one of just nine states that permit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, will consider banning such sales amid concerns about growing use of the “safer” alternative to smoking among youth. Even as the Texas Medical Association and Texas Public Health Coalition […]

Smoking ban extended to pedestrian plazas

I’m okay with this. Main Street Square is now a smoke-free zone following the City Council’s decision Wednesday to expand Houston’s smoking ban to pedestrian plazas, marking the latest effort from the Parker administration to curb lighting up in public places. The changes to the smoking ordinance are twofold: it expands the ban to Houston’s […]

Two data points on e-cigarettes

The World Health Organization wants them to be regulated more strongly. Governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes indoors and in public places and outlaw tactics to lure young users, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Tuesday. It also raised concerns about the role of big tobacco companies in the […]

Vape ’em if you’ve got ’em

E-cigarettes are not affected by the city of Houston’s smoking ban. For now, anyway. When city officials announced a sweeping ban on smoking in public parks last month, many in Houston’s growing ranks of electronic cigarette users worried the new rules applied to them. They do not, but the concern was well founded. Of the […]

City smoking ban extended to parks and libraries

Who knew they weren’t already, right? Houston public parks, golf courses and pools will be smoke-free zones come September, marking one of the most sweeping tobacco bans at city facilities. Parks and Recreation Department Director Joe Turner announced the new policy at a City Council Quality of Life Committee meeting Wednesday, following an announcement by […]

Vaping in jail

Not sure how I feel about this. As a way to allow some inmates to get their nicotine fix and sheriffs to shore up tight budgets, county jails across the country have begun selling electronic cigarettes. Though the trend has largely bypassed Texas, jail officials say that could change as sheriffs begin to warm up […]

On e-cigarettes

From the Rivard Report: After a 2011 ordinance banned indoor smoking in public places around San Antonio, some smokers were left trying to find options to leave tobacco behind. In the ensuing three years, electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have seen exponential growth around the country, with several retail outlets popping up in and around San […]

UH goes smoke-free

Good for them. The University of Houston, which educates more than 40,000 students each year on its 667-acre campus, will become tobacco-free June 1, school officials announced Thursday. The new policy, approved by UH Chancellor Renu Khator, bans the use of tobacco products in all university buildings and grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks and walkways. […]

No smokers need apply

Boy, is this a big can of worms. Methodist Hospital System in Houston this month announcedit will implement a tobacco-free hiring policy on Jan. 1, joining the Texas Medical Center and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, which have had similar policies since last year and 2010, respectively. The policies are straightforward. Applicants who smoke or chew […]

Steve Brown: The Grown-Up’s Platform

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. Texas Democrats recently adopted a very progressive platform that addresses critical areas of need in our state. It also gives reasonable, mature Texans an alternative to empty ideological rhetoric. Although most headlines will center on our […]

No smoking at UH

Put that cigarette down and slowly back away. The University of Houston is on its way to becoming a tobacco-free campus. Under a new proposal by school officials, UH would outlaw the “use, sale, advertising, and sampling of all tobacco products” on the 667-acre campus. Currently, smoking is prohibited inside buildings and cars and within […]

Mayor extends burn ban in parks

From the inbox: Mayor Parker Extends Parks Burn Ban to Include Smoking Mayor Annise Parker today signed an executive order extending the City’s temporary burn ban to include smoking in City parks.  The smoking ban applies to lighted cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any other device used for the burning of tobacco or other plant material. […]

City may ban smoking in parks

Um, yeah. Mayor Annise Parker said she is considering banning smoking in the city’s 380 parks because of the fire dangers presented by discarded cigarettes. “This drought is a crisis situation,” Parker said.  ”I am leaning toward a ban on smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars –  a ban on smoking in city parks.  But what I want first […]

San Marcos takes a step forward on smoking ban

A non-binding step, anyway. Presented with four ways to proceed with a potential public smoking ban, the San Marcos City Council opted late Tuesday to move forward with putting a nonbinding referendum before voters in November. Assistant City Manager Collette Jamison said the council wouldn’t have to act even if voters approved the initiative. And […]

Still no statewide smoking ban

Last Tuesday, just before the special session ended, the Trib summarized where the effort to pass a statewide smoking ban stood. Bill: SB 28 would institute a statewide ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and many public places. If passes, supporters say it would save an estimated $31 million dollars in Medicaid spending over the next […]

Smoking ban survives Senate committee

The statewide smoking ban still lives. Senate lawmakers pushed a ban on smoking in public places out of committee this afternoon, sending it to the full upper chamber for a vote. Senate Bill 28, which would ban smoking indoors in bars, restaurants and many public places, has failed to make it through past legislative sessions […]

Smoking ban lives again

Never say never when the Lege is in session. The House Appropriations Committee voted 19-1 to recommend their colleagues approve HB 46, designed to stop secondhand smoke from polluting the air and lungs for others. “It’s the No. 1 public health issue for this session. It’s the No. 1 clean air issue in this session,” […]

Smoking ban well and truly dead

Nice try, but no dice. Many thought this was the year. But Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, acknowledged on Saturday that a measure establishing a statewide smoking ban in Texas is dead. Crownover blamed its failure on a “handful” of Senate conferees who refused to keep a smoking ban amendment on Senate Bill 1811, a sweeping […]

House passes statewide smoking ban

One of the many amendments that was successfully added to SB1811 Friday night was by Rep. Myra Crownover to finally implement a statewide smoking ban. The close vote, 73-66, came during debate on the enormous budget-related bill, Senate Bill 1811. The amendment by Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, was one of a few opposed by the […]

Two smoking stories

Rep. Myra Crownover will make her biennial attempt to pass a statewide smoking ban in Texas, which if it passes would make it harder to smoke. Although she believes in limited government, Crownover said 53,000 people die each year in the U.S. from second-hand smoke, and that is unacceptable. “I think this is the most […]

Is this the year a statewide smoking ban passes?

Maybe. The latest from Gov. Rick Perry’s preferred polling firm, Baselice & Associates, shows that 70 percent of Texans support a ban on indoor smoking, including in restaraunts and bars. The sentiment appears to cut across party lines. The ban was supported by 67 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 74 percent of […]

Statewide smoking ban still on tap

Now that every major city in Texas has an ordinance that bans smoking in most public places, attention turns to the Lege where another attempt will be made next year to pass a similar ban. Similar legislation died in the waning days of the 2009 Legislature despite the support of cyclist and cancer survivor Lance […]

Interview with State Rep. Carol Alvarado

I’m wrapping up the legislative interviews this week. First up is State Rep. Carol Alvarado, who is serving her first term representing HD145. Rep. Alvarado had previously served three terms on Houston City Council, where she was the author of the updated smoking ordinance from 2007. She continued that work in the Lege, where she […]

San Antonio smoking ban passes

By a slightly larger margin than expected. The City Council on Thursday approved a fortified smoke-free ordinance aimed at protecting public health, despite pleas from frustrated bar and restaurant owners who said that the ban would hurt their business. The new ordinance, which will qualify San Antonio as a smoke-free city under criteria set by […]

The Mayor and the smoking ban

Interesting story about San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who did not campaign on expanding that city’s smoking ban but is now the leading proponent of it. He’s likely to get it passed on Thursday with a 6-5 vote, though a wider margin is possible. Not that it really matters – in most functioning governmental bodies […]

San Antonio smoking ordinance heads for a vote

The revised San Antonio smoking ordinance has made it out of Council committee and will be voted on, in some form, next week. The proposal originally sought to ban indoor smoking, ending the exemptions for bars, pool halls, comedy clubs, bingo halls and restaurants that have enclosed smoking systems. Since then, the proposal has been […]

Still more on the San Antonio smoking ordinance

Here’s an Express News article from last Sunday about the effect that municipal ordinances that have banned smoking in bars and restaurants have had on those establishments. Interestingly, the main place it goes for anecdotal evidence is Houston. Lizzard’s Pub, a bar tucked away in the River Oaks neighborhood on this city’s near West Side, […]

San Antonio smoking ban protests

The proposal to strengthen the smoking ban in San Antonio has drawn protest from a previously silent constituency. LULAC, the San Antonio Mixed Beverage Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the San Antonio Restaurant Association joined forces to create the Save Our Jobs Alliance. The coalition opposes strengthening the city’s […]

Smoke-Free San Antonio update

As we know, the city of San Antonio is working on updating its ordinance that restricts smoking. The first draft of that has emerged from committee, and it’s got some teeth to it. The strengthened recommendations, which will be considered in August by the Quality of Life Committee before heading to the full council later […]

Still smoking in San Antonio

But maybe not for much longer. San Antonio City Councilman Justin Rodriguez announced [last] Friday that he is sponsoring an ordinance to outlaw smoking in most public places, including all bars, restaurants and workplaces. Rodriguez said San Antonio is one of the largest cities in the country without legislation to protect the public from the […]

Galveston goes smoke-free

Good for them. The Galveston City Council adopted a comprehensive smoking ban Thursday, forbidding people from lighting up in bars, restaurants, private clubs and tobacco stores. Council members Karen Mahoney, Elizabeth Beeton and Tarris Woods joined Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, who championed the ban, in voting for the ordinance. Council members Danny Weber and Susan […]