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Monday, March 7, 2011

TMA PUSHES INDOOR SMOKING BAN TO SAVE MONEY, SAVE LIVES

For the third legislative session in a row, TMA is joining Texas public health advocates in calling for a statewide ban on smoking in public places and workplaces. This time around, Texas’ huge budget shortfall could work in our favor. Recent studies show that going smoke-free could save the state Medicaid program $31 million over the next two years by reducing the number of heart attacks, strokes, adult respiratory diseases, and cases of childhood asthma. “We strongly encourage our senators and representatives to make healthy choices today that can both help them balance the budget and help Texans live longer, healthier, more productive lives,” TMA President Sue Bailey, MD, said at a Texas Public Health Coalition news conference. Over the next two days, Dr. Bailey joined TMA Board of Trustees member Lewis Foxhall, MD, of Houston; John Carlo, MD, of Dallas, a member of TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health; and Joel Dunnington, MD, of Houston, a member of TMA’s Council on Socioeconomics, in testifying for indoor smoking ban bills. They expressed TMA’s strong support for Senate Bill 355 by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and House Bill 670 by Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton).

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