Vaping-Related Lung Illness Cases Continue to Rise: Clinical Conference Call Planned - 09/19/2019

Texas health officials are investigating 37 confirmed and possible cases of severe lung disease in youth and young adults who used e-cigarettes or vaping products. To help better understand the vaping epidemic, the CDC will host a clinically focused conference call Friday that will focus on what physicians and other health care professionals are experiencing.

CDC: More Possible Pulmonary Disease Cases Linked to Vaping Reported - 08/23/2019

Texas health officials are investigating suspected cases of pulmonary disease among people who have reported vaping, according to a health alert posted Friday.

Public Health: Tobacco Triumph - 08/02/2019

Texas physicians got the kind of huge win on tobacco issues they haven’t seen in decades – a law to keep tobacco products away from young people.

Teach Teens to “Escape the Vape” - 06/18/2019

As a physician you understand the health risks associated with tobacco products, but how do you effectively talk to your young patients about those dangers? Well, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is here to help with a free online course entitled “Escape the Vape: Help Stop the E-Cigarette Epidemic Among Adolescents.”

Legislative Top 10: A Closer Look at Texas’ New “Tobacco 21” Law - 06/13/2019

One of the major public health achievements the Texas Medical Association pushed for this past legislative session was Senate Bill 21, which raises the minimum age to buy tobacco and vape-product in Texas from 18 to 21 years. The lifesaving measure, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed last week, is featured in today’s TMA’s Legislative News Hotline video report.  

Hotline Video: Medicine Calls For Tobacco Reforms - 04/12/2019

In this week’s TMA Legislative Hotline Video, watch physicians and lawmakers argue why a bill making its way through the Capitol could save the lives of thousands of young Texans.  

Legislative Hotline: Bill to Raise Tobacco-Purchase Age Moving Forward - 04/05/2019

Lawmakers unveiled new balance-billing legislation this week, while several physicians testified on key issues such as limiting scope-of-practice expansions, medical liability, and pharmacy benefit managers. All of this and more in this week’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video.

Protect Texas’ Youths – Raise the Smoking Age to 21 - 03/06/2019

The younger kids are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they’ll become addicted. Exposure to tobacco and nicotine at a young age affects brain development and increases risk for nicotine dependence. With nicotine addiction and continued use into adulthood come even greater risks of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other cancers, as well as early death.  If current trends continue, nearly half a million (498,000) Texas kids alive now will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

Texas 21 Pushes to Raise the Age for Tobacco Sales - 03/06/2019

Texas 21, a coalition of 75 public health groups that includes the Texas Medical Association and two powerful state legislators, on Tuesday called for the Texas Legislature to stop the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21.

TMA Hotline Feb. 14: Push To Raise Tobacco Sales Age to Get Senate Boost - 02/14/2019

Medicine received good news Wednesday that Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) will refile a bill that would raise the tobacco sale age to 21. Refiling might not sound like much, but this is a very good indication of the bill’s likelihood of success in the Senate.

Youth Safeguards, Budget Boons - 04/25/2018

The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Public Health Coalition, and diligent physicians earned significant public health victories during the Texas Legislature's 2015 session in their drive to reduce tobacco and electronic cigarette use and to protect schoolchildren at risk for anaphylaxis.

San Antonio Snuffs Out Tobacco Sales to Teens - 01/30/2018

A bill to raise the state’s age to purchase tobacco to 21 burned out during last year’s legislative session. But now that the city of San Antonio has done it on a local level, advocates of “T-21” are hoping to light a fire under other Texas cities ― and state lawmakers ― to do the same.

Get Started Helping Your Patients Quit Smoking - 01/29/2018

What can you do as a physician who’s trying to reduce the preventable diseases that smoking and other tobacco products cause? Here’s an idea: You and your staff can attend a formal tobacco cessation course put on by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Support Tobacco-Use-Age Bill for Women’s and Babies’ Health - 01/29/2018

As you are aware, the minimum age to buy tobacco is 18 years old. On average, 90 percent of adult smokers begin smoking during their teenage years, and 95 percent of users begin before their 21st birthday. By raising the minimum age required to buy tobacco products and helping delay — or prevent altogether — the start of tobacco use, we can significantly improve public health outcomes for the patients I care and advocate for: women, children, and infants.

2015 Legislative Wins: Oncologists - 06/22/2016

2015 Legislative Wins: Oncologists

2015 Legislative Wins: Family Medicine - 06/22/2016

2015 Legislative Wins: Family Medicine

TMA Supports Bill to Prohibit E-Cigarettes on School Campuses - 06/17/2016

TMA reviewed studies on e-cigarette use last year and found many states and communities had already restricted the use of these products. Texas is only one of 10 states that have not already restricted the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Several studies on e-cigarettes have identified the major components of e-cigarettes (nicotine, propylene glycol, and/or glycerin). There is no water in e-cigarettes. However, because these are unregulated products with poor quality control, physicians and public health experts are concerned about the lack of information on the precise amount and type of compounds in the many different brands of e-cigarettes, and the potential short- and long-term health effects of the compounds produced by heating in these devices.

Texas Should Be Smoke-Free (TPHC) - 06/17/2016

The Texas Public Health Coalition says: More than 30 states now require that workplaces be smoke-free. Almost 80 percent of the country’s population is protected by smoke-free laws in workplaces, restaurants, and bars. Yet more than half of Texans do not have this same protection. The state must embrace coordinated, comprehensive strategies to reduce smoking and protect Texans from exposure to secondhand smoke. Reducing the use of tobacco and secondhand smoke saves lives.

Tell FDA to Regulate All Tobacco Products - 06/17/2016

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is urging public comment in support of regulation of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and cigars, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Click here to submit your comments directly to the FDA. The submission deadline is Aug. 8.

Supreme Court Backs TMA in Tobacco Tax Case - 06/17/2016

The Texas Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to a tax lawmakers enacted in 2013 to recover health care costs from the tobacco companies that were not part of the $10 billion-a-year 1998 lawsuit settlement between the state and the nation's five largest tobacco manufacturers. The settlement funds and the tax both were intended to recover the health care costs associated with smoking. TMA had urged the high court to take the case.

Regulate E-Cigarettes - 06/17/2016

The Texas Pediatric Society and the Texas Medical Association represent more than 48,000 physicians and medical students. Our members have made it a priority to advocate for limiting youth access to e-cigarettes, including marketing strategies aimed at youth. Texas physicians are concerned about the known and unknown health risks associated with e-cigarettes. Scientific conclusions on the effects of e-cigarettes, which are only now beginning to emerge, vary due to differences among devices, e-juices, and product brands. However, we feel that the available information warrants restrictions on youth access to e-cigarettes and the marketing of these products to youth for three major reasons.

Use Tobacco Taxes for Cessation and Prevention Programs - 06/17/2016

TMA strongly recommends funding be appropriated to address tobacco cessation and prevention. Texas’ tobacco settlement recognized the physical harm to Texans and the costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses. We believe to maintain the spirit and fairness of the tobacco settlement, revenue from these new tobacco taxes must be directed to tobacco cessation. Current state funding of tobacco cessation and prevention programs is a fraction of what’s needed.

Letter: Regulate E-cigarettes Like Tobacco Products - 06/17/2016

We appreciate the efforts of SB 1618 to regulate nicotine products, but we believe this definition of e-cigarettes is too narrow and does not encompass the entire range of products currently available on the market. While it is important to prohibit the use of nicotine products by children because of nicotine’s inherent toxicity and ease of addiction in the child population, other e-cigarette products pose significant danger to minors.

High Court to Hear Tobacco Tax Case - 06/17/2016

The Texas Supreme Court has accepted an appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated a tax the legislature applied to so-called "small tobacco." Back in 1998, the nation's five largest tobacco companies settled a case with Texas and 45 other states over the health care costs of cigarette smoking. They agreed to pay $10 billion a year indefinitely to the states.

Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst: E-Cigarettes Must be Regulated - 06/17/2016

We are concerned that e-cigarette users risk progression to other forms of tobacco use. And we, as a state, are quite aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use, with higher rates of death attributable to smoking – 273 per 100,000 – than the rest of the United States. Despite major progress, Texas still has a ways to go to reduce the use of tobacco by youth. For instance, 14.1 percent of high school students still smoke, and 24,200 kids become new smokers each year. We need to do all we can to limit youth from starting down the road toward addiction.