In advance of tomorrow’s discussion by the City of Arlington’s council members on procedures involving a new smoking ban in public places, the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) and its Foundation released a public flyer last week detailing the dangers of smoking in the city.
Working in coordination with the American Heart Association, DFWHC President/CEO W. Stephen Love has been available to provide advice and speak publicly about the dangers of secondhand smoke during recent city council meetings. The Arlington mayor and city council passed a new smoke-free ban by a 6-3 vote on April 14, though exact details have not yet been decided upon.
“For the last 10 years, we have continued our efforts in North Texas for area cities to be smoke free,” Love said. “Last year we were pleased to see Denton, Red Oak, Duncanville, DeSoto, and Seagoville enact smoke-free ordinances. We are also working with Fort Worth, Richardson, Garland and Addison to do the same.”
The flyer was created by Dr. Sushma Sharma, the director of public and population health research in the DFWHC Foundation. It includes data detailing the numbers of cancer and heart-related visits in Arlington in addition to patient expenses.
“We are simply trying to utilize our research to promote public safety and public health,” said Dr. Sharma. “There is no better way to improve community health than to ban smoking in public places. Such a ban will also provide healthcare savings, increased productivity in the work place and a stronger economy.”
The City of Dallas enacted its smoke-free ban in restaurants in 2003 and has continued to strengthen its bans in increments ever since. According to a 2014 report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 heart disease and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year among adult nonsmokers in the U.S.
For additional information, please contact Dr. Sharma at [email protected].