1. Maintain or increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs;
2. Continue to pass comprehensive local smokefree ordinances to build towards a statewide smokefree law; and
3. Increase the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21.
The American Lung Association in Texas along with our partners at Smoke-Free Texas provides leadership and guidance for public policy efforts to continue the state's success in reducing the impact of tobacco among Texans. Together with our partners, the American Lung Association in Texas works to ensure tobacco control and prevention remains a priority for state legislators and local decision makers.
There was no state legislative session in Texas in 2016, however, significant progress was made on passing local smokefree ordinances. Since January 2016, seven local smokefree ordinances have been passed, including the cities of Mesquite and Mission. Texas now has 52 cities with local smokefree ordinances that protect 9.8 million people from secondhand smoke in virtually all public places and workplaces. Efforts continue in the city of Fort Worth, Texas as well, which is the largest city in Texas that remains without a comprehensive smokefree ordinance.
Funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs remained at $10.223 million as appropriated in the two-year state budget passed in 2015.
Moving forward in 2017, the American Lung Association in Texas and its partners will work to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21 as well as protect existing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.