Lung Association Calls on Texas to Protect Residents from Dangers of Secondhand Smoke on 10th Anniversary of Historic Report
2006 U.S. Surgeon General report concluded no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, American Lung Association calls for comprehensive smokefree laws to protect residents
(June 27, 2016) -
Ten years ago today, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report detailing the potentially deadly health effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Recognizing that some people are still exposed to secondhand smoke ten years after "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke" report was issued, the American Lung Association in Texas calls on legislators to protect residents from the harms of secondhand smoke exposure by adopting comprehensive smokefree laws and policies that would protect everyone from the dangers of secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces.
This science-based 2006 report found that secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults, and children exposed to secondhand smoke are also at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more severe asthma. Since the 2006 release of this historic report, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted smokefree laws to protect the health of residents, but Texas has not yet passed a similar law.
"The Surgeon General's report made it clear – there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke," said Holly Torres, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Texas. "The report sparked a wave of states and communities protecting residents and families from secondhand smoke with comprehensive smokefree laws, but this hasn't yet happened in Texas. Now is the time for Texas to protect the health of residents where they live, work and play."
While the total number of states with comprehensive laws includes 28 states plus the District of Columbia, progress on passing smokefree laws has almost completely stalled over the past five years with only one state, North Dakota, approving a comprehensive smokefree law. The remaining 22 states have not yet adopted comprehensive smokefree laws according to the Lung Association.
"The health of our children and families cannot wait another year and certainly not another decade. Protecting our communities from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure is the right thing to do, and it will save lives," Torres said. "Let's take action now to pass a statewide smokefree law - the health of our children and families deserve no less."
The American Lung Association recognizes smokefree laws as those that protect everyone from the dangers of secondhand smoke in all public places and workplaces. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilating rooms or buildings does not eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. To learn more about comprehensive smokefree laws and policies and the progress of states, visit Lung.org/smokefree.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact Holly Torres at the American Lung Association in Texas at HTorres@Lungs.org.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.