TPHC Praises Bill to Make State College Campuses and Offices Tobacco-Free

Statement by Eduardo Sanchez, MD, chair of the Texas Public Health Coalition and former Texas commissioner of health, in support of legislation filed to make Texas state college campuses and state agencies tobacco-free.



“The 35-member Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) commends Rep. Rick Miller for filing House Bill 2652, which will rid Texas state college campuses and state buildings of harmful tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapor, and tobacco products.

“The costs are far too great not to take action.

“We all know it: Tobacco kills. In fact, tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in Texas and in the United States, and close to 24,500 Texans — our friends and neighbors — die every year of tobacco-related causes.

“Tobacco drains our wallets, too. In Texas, taxpayers spend an estimated $12.2 billion each year on otherwise-unnecessary medical care expenditures and lost productivity treating tobacco-related diseases.

“As physicians and public health and prevention advocates, we know we are going to hurt ourselves in the long-run if we don’t make important investments — now — to support the public’s health. HB 2652 would prohibit smoking and use of any tobacco-related products at all of our state’s buildings, facilities, and higher education campuses and ensure that Texans are no longer penalized for the cost of preventable illnesses and premature deaths.

“We should join the 27 states with 100-percent smoke-free provisions in workplaces, restaurants, and bars.

“Texans should not have to suffer health consequences, and taxpayers should not have to suffer fiscal consequences that are preventable through tobacco cessation. Let’s support HB 2652 to rid our state campuses and state buildings of deadly tobacco use.

“TPHC lists ‘Ensure all state buildings, facilities, and higher education campuses are tobacco-free’ as a top priority this legislative session, with good reason.”

The Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) is a coalition of more than 35 health professional organizations and health-focused organizations including the Texas Medical Association (TMA), dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion. The coalition works to reduce preventable disease by advancing effective public policies that promote a healthy and safe environment for all Texas residents.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.


Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org

Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org

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Last Updated On

February 20, 2020