Texas Legislative Priorities

Tobacco Control Priorities

  • Smoke-Free Texas
    The American Lung Association is working with the Texas legislature to pass a comprehensive workplace safety law that would protect employees and patrons alike from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke in all indoor workplaces including bars and restaurants. The American Lung Association is a coalition member of Smoke-Free Texas and works collaboratively with peer organizations that include The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Livestrong Foundation. Texas currently has comprehensive smokefree ordinances in all major metropolitan cities in incorporated areas that covers 45% of the population.
  • Tobacco Control and Prevention Funding
    Texas currently spends less than six percent (approx. $13M) of the CDC recommended level towards tobacco prevention and control (approx. $266M). The American Lung Association advocates for increased tobacco prevention and control funding to support statewide programs such as the quit line and local tobacco prevention and control coalitions. This funding is critical in preventing kids from smoking and provides resources for those who wish to stop smoking.
  • Expanding Cessation Coverage for State Employees
    The American Lung Association advocates to provide full smoking cessation benefit coverage for state employees.
  • Increasing Cigarette Excise Tax
    Smokers in Texas cost the state nearly $20B annually in medical costs, lost productivity and premature death. While the average cost of cigarettes in Texas is $5.52 per pack, the cost to the state and to taxpayers is $20 per pack of cigarettes sold. Raising the cigarette tax by just $1.00 is estimated to generate nearly $800M in the biennium (or $400M per year). Increasing the cost of cigarettes is a proven method of reducing consumption and makes tobacco products less accessible to children.

Clean Air Priorities

The American Lung Association has been the leading defender of the Clean Air Act since its inception in 1972. In Texas, we have focused our clean air advocacy efforts on reducing vehicle emissions, upholding pollutions standards and promoting clean alternative fuels and renewable energy.

  • Clean School Busses and School Bus Idling Policies
    Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution. Cleaning up pollution near schools will help our children breathe clean, safe air where they learn and play. Children are unnecessarily exposed to idling school buses on school grounds. Pound-for-pound they take in much more air than adults and have less developed lungs and immune systems. Continuous exposure increases their chance of developing asthma a leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness. The American Lung Association supports legislation that would prohibit diesel engine idling in school zones.
  • Emissions Reduction and Clean Vehicle Incentive Programs
    The American Lung Association advocates for continued funding for the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) and Low Income Repair and Assistance Program (LIRAP) funding. The TERP and LIRAP programs have been instrumental in reducing vehicle emissions for nonattainment areas in Texas such as Dallas and Houston.

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