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Razorbacks show support for Smoke Free Workplaces!

This past August 25th, American Heart Association advocacy volunteers worked the crowd at University of Arkansas Razorbash.  Kicking off their school year, University of Arkansas students proved to be big supporters of smoke free efforts in Northwest Arkansas – hundreds of them signed petitions telling the Fayetteville City Council to enact a comprehensive smoke free policy.   Great to see so much support from our young Razorbacks!  Are you interested in showing your support for smoke free communities?  Take a minute to sign the petition today! 

Sign-up HERE to stand up for smoke free workplaces in your community!

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Round Rock City Council Passes E-Cigarette Ordinance

On Thursday September 8th, the Round Rock City Council took a big step towards health by unanimously passing a proposed e-cigarette ordinance! This ordinance essentially states that e-cigarettes are no longer allow anywhere that traditional cigarettes are. We applaud the City Council for their efforts and their leadership in protecting the health of Round Rock residents and workers. We also want to thank the volunteers who sent emails, came to City Council meetings, and testified- your actions clearly made a difference!

We believe, however, that this step is just the first. Now is the time for the City of Round Rock to pass a comprehensive smoke-free indoor workplace ordinance. Currently, 52 other Texas cities have a comprehensive smoke-free ordinances that protect ALL of their workers from toxic exposure to secondhand smoke, even those who work at bars. 

If you live in Round Rock and want to see your city go smoke-free, email Samantha Bender (Samantha.Bender@Heart.org)

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Smoke-Free Fort Worth Campaign Launches!

On Wednesday August 24th, Smoke-Free Fort Worth officially launched its campaign for a smoke-free ordinance in the North Texas city. Fort Worth is the largest city in Texas to not yet have a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance on the books.

The launch event was held at Billy Bob's, once the largest opponent to a smoke-free ordinance which has now voluntarily gone smoke-free. With over 150 people in attendance, the Smoke-Free Fort Worth coalition released its poll results that show 91% of Fort Worth residents agree everyone deserves the right to breathe smoke-free air in public places and at work.

“As a leader of one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country, along with being a proud Fort Worth resident, it is imperative for our city to be one of the healthiest places to live and work,” said Barclay Berdan, chief executive officer of Texas Health Resources. “I am humbled to be a member of the Smoke-Free Fort Worth coalition, but it’s an honor not taken lightly. I hope other North Texans realize the magnitude of this initiative, for the health of all workers, friends, family and generations to come.”

Smoke-Free Fort Worth is a coalition of local organizations, businesses, and residents (including the AHA) committed to ensuring everyone in Fort Worth has the right to breathe smoke-free air at work. For additional information and to see how you can get involved, email Aschelle Morgan Aschelle.Morgan@Heart.org

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Meet Andy Martinez, Champion for Smoke-Free Workplaces

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the American Heart Association and the work that we do.  We are constantly amazed by our volunteers' commitment to advocate for healthier lives and to help save lives through policy change.  We are pleased to spotlight Andy Martinez as this month's volunteer champion.

Name: Andy Martinez

Occupation: Entrepreneur, Community Volunteer

How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association? Since 2007

Why do you advocate for smoke-free communities?

I personally experienced how smoking can affect one’s health…I lost my Dad when he was 54 years old due to heart disease brought on by smoking. I believe that by living in the U.S. we all enjoy rights and privileges, as long as they don’t affect the rights and privileges of others.

What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off?
Spend time with my family and my grandchildren (3 boys) … and playing golf.

Can you please share about the work you have been doing so far to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke via the Smoke-Free Round Rock campaign?

I have advocated on why it is important that all residents of Round Rock should be able to work, play and enjoy their family time in a healthy environment. I have been a spokesperson at the Round Rock Express Heart night, filmed a short video for the campaign, have written letters to Round Rock policy-makers as well as visited individually with elected officials and well-respected community leaders. I have also spoken on behalf of the campaign to 2 Williamson County organizations. El Amistad Club of Round Rock and Citizens for Diversity in Leadership Roles (CDLR) a civic engagement PAC.

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Round Rock Smoke-Free Efforts Continue

Our efforts to help protect all Central Texas workers and residents from secondhand smoke continue.  The Round Rock City Council will soon vote on an ordinance that will help regulate Electronic Cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices. The ordinance ensures that E-Cigarettes don’t receive special exemptions and loopholes from current smoking restrictions.

This is a step in the right direction, but that is not enough to protect all Round Rock residents.

A recent poll shows that 74% of Round Rock residents favor a new smoke-free ordinance that would prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars, in order to protect ALL workers.

Mark King, owner of Fleet Feet Sports, is one of those supporters. Check out why he supports a smoke-free Round Rock!

Our volunteers have been key in getting us this far but we’re not there yet! If you live in Round Rock Please take a minute to send an email to your City Council letting them know you support protecting ALL workers in your city!

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12 Cities Go Smoke-Free in 12 Months

It's been an incredible year!

In the past 12 months, because of your support, phone calls, testimony, and dedication to seeing a healthier Texas, we have helped to pass12 smoke-free ordinances in cities across the state! This means that in just one year, over 705,000 additional Texans are now covered by smoke-free air ordiances and are able to live healthier lives. It means that 12 more cities are now safer for all workers and patrons. These wins bring our total to 52 cities covered in Texas, and we couldn't have done it without you...but the fight is long from over! We need to continue working hard to ensure that ALL Texans have the right to breathe smoke-free air!

Want to see your city go smoke-free? Email Samantha Bender (Samantha.Bender@heart.org) to find out how to get involved with smoke-free efforts in your area!

 

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Mesquite Goes Smoke-Free

We have great news out of North Texas! The City of Mesquite unanimously passed a smoke-free ordinance, which will provide a safe working environment for all workers within the city! Thanks to the support of city council and our dedicated You're the Cure advocates, 144,416 more Texans will now breathe easier.

We would like to thank AHA Board Chair, Linda Fox (pictured), for her leadership and commitment to helping us build a healthier community. Mesquite, TX becomes the 51st Texas City to have a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance, and becomes the 11th Texas City since July 2016 to adopt such a law. This victory brings the total number of Texans covered by a smoke-free ordinance to 623,993.

Want to see your city go smoke-free? Email Samantha.Bender@heart.org to get connected with efforts in your area!

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Creating a Healthier Wooster for All

The city of Wooster became the first city in Arkansas since 2008 to pass a comprehensive smoke free ordinance.  The city council unanimously adopted this ordinance, making all indoor workplaces in the community smoke free.  The measure also applies to e-delivery devices, known as e-cigarettes.  "I'm proud that our community is the first in Faulkner County to pass a comprehensive smoke free ordinance. As the City of Wooster continues to grow, this ordinance ensures that all of our citizens are protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke,” said Wooster Mayor Terry Don Robinson. Congratulations to Wooster, and thanks to all of our You're the Cure advocates who helped make this happen!

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Clear Lungs, Full Hearts, Can't Lose - 50 Texas Cities Go Smoke-Free

On April 19th, the City of Universal City voted unanimously to pass a smoke-free ordinance that protects all workers and residents from the deadly effects of second-hand smoke!

In doing so, they not only became another Texas city choosing to prioritize the health of their residents, but they became the 50th city in Texas to do so! While we still have a long way to go, this is truly a cause for celebration! We are endlessly thankful for the continued passion, tireless help, and strong voices of our citizen volunteers and advocates who were critical in passing each and every one of these 50 ordinances.

Because of all of you, 50 cities in Texas can now breathe easier, and together we will continue to work to ensure that ALL Texans have that same right.

Onward and upward, y'all!

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Port Arthur Goes Smoke-Free!

Last Tuesday, April 5th, the Port Arthur City Council voted unanimously (9-0) in favor of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance! Port Arthur is now the 48th city in Texas to go smoke-free!

We are incredibly thankful for all our smoke-free supporters who sent emails, made calls, and testified before City Council. Your actions made this happen!

Once this ordinance goes into effect, Port Arthur residents and visitors will be able to enjoy their favorite places without the harmful effects of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. Restaurant and bar workers will be able to breathe easier and live healthier lives.

We would not be here without the support and dedication of our You're the Cure advocates to making Port Arthur a healthier place to live.

Thank you!

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