UPDATED: Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 9:25pm
Waco, Texas — Starting today, May 1, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District will begin implementation of a new tobacco and nicotine free policy for the Health District, Parks and Recreation, and the Municipal Court campus, located at 225 and 201 W. Waco Dr. The use of all tobacco products and e- cigarettes will be prohibited at all times on the campus.
To celebrate this new policy, the Health District will host a brief ceremony on the steps of the Health District building this morning, May 1 at 11 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to wear green in recognition of a healthier tobacco and nicotine free environment. Sherry Williams, Director of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District will speak briefly, followed by the unveiling of a new banner and a balloon release. Green popcorn will be served and smoking cessation information will be available.
This marks the 50th year since the Office of the Surgeon General released its first report on the dangers of tobacco use. Today, smoking still kills nearly 480,000 Americans a year and remains the most preventable cause of death and disease in the U. S.
As worksites adopt smoke free policies to protect from secondhand smoke the community benefits, studies on comprehensive smoke-free polices done by the American Heart Association and the National Cancer Institute show that
• Comprehensive smoke-free laws were associated with a rapid 15% decrease in hospitalizations for heart attacks, and 16% for stroke and 24% for asthma and other respiratory hospitalizations.
• The more comprehensive the law or policy the more the health benefits.
For anyone interested in quitting, the Texas Quitline offers free, confidential services and personalized tools and strategies from trained professionals to help people quit smoking. And it can more than double a person’s chances of quitting.
The number is 1-877-937-7848, 1-877-YES-QUIT