July 27, 2006
Information about smoking ordinances in Texas communities is available in an online database developed by the University of Houston and funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
The release of a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report concluding that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke has spurred a continuing increase in questions about smoking ordinances across Texas. The report concludes that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, asthma, bronchitis and other serious illnesses and is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.
The Texas database, available at http://txshsord.coe.uh.edu/, contains the text of ordinances and can be used to compare policies, provide summaries and compile customized reports.
(News Media: for more information contact Darah Waldrip, DSHS Tobacco Prevention and Control, 512-458-7200; or Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)