For almost a decade, the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) has advocated for smoking bans in North Texas. Last night, the City of Arlington approved a new smoking ban by a vote of 7-2, following the lead of such communities as Dallas, Southlake, Benbrook, Flower Mound, Little Elm, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and Mesquite.
“We continue our efforts in North Texas, as last year Denton, Red Oak, Duncanville, DeSoto and Seagoville also enacted smoke-free ordinances,” said W. Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC.
Communities still to go include Fort Worth (the largest city in Texas without a smoking ban), Richardson, Addison, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Kennedale, Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens.
During last night’s meeting, Love stood at the lectern to detail cities that have adopted similar smoking ordinances detailing a 15 percent decrease in heart attack hospitalizations and a 16 percent decline in stroke hospitalizations.
At Arlington hospitals in 2015, there were 1,035 lung-cancer-related visits and 7,313 visits of heart disease patients — at a cost of $380 million, according to Love.
“The people of Arlington deserve to breathe smoke-free air,” he said.
Last week, DFWHC distributed a flyer created by Dr. Sushma Sharma throughout Arlington detailing the statistics related to secondhand smoke. 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.
You can read the full story in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram here.