Testimony before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
SB 368 by Senator Rodney Ellis 4-19-07
Madam Chair and members of the committee. My name is Carey Dabney. I
am the Healthy Lifestyles Consultant to the board of the Texas
Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the parent of two daughters.
On behalf of
the 600,000 plus members of the largest child advocacy organization
in Texas, I want to thank you for the opportunity to testify in
support of SB 368.
I am here
today because we are concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke
on our children.
knows, secondhand smoke contains chemicals that are known to be
toxic or cancer causing, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl
chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. The current
Surgeon Generalís report states that there is no risk-free level of
secondhand smoke exposure, and that even brief exposures can be
harmful to children.
consider the following from the American Lung Association
- Exposure to
secondhand smoke exacerbates 400,000-1,000,000 cases of asthma in
children annually. New evidence suggests that secondhand smoke is
a risk factor for developing asthma among children and
- Exposure to
secondhand smoke causes 150,000 to 300,000 acute lower respiratory
tract infections annually in children 18 months and younger,
resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year.
smoke exposure causes buildup of fluid in the middle ear. These
infections are the most common cause of childhood operations and
whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to
secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than other babies,
which also increase the risk of many other health problems.
The economic cost of smoking
related illness is enormous. The savings, in reduced health care
expenses alone, should be incentive enough to support SB 368.
But as parents and responsible
adults we also have an obligation to provide safe and healthy indoor
public environments for our children.
Enforcing a statewide ban on
smoking in indoor public places is an excellent way to protect both
the health and pocketbook of all Texans. Please support SB 368.
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