Thursday, January 29, 2009

Smoke-Free Texas Press Conference

















Hello everyone...we're just getting set up at the capitol. Here is a map of the U.S. based on who is smoke-free. We hope to put Texas in the green column in less than 5 months

Just to remind everyone Smoke-Free Texas is a coaltion of groups including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Texas Parent Teachers Association, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and many more. But, AHA is well represented today. Above is San Antonio Communications Director Sandy Levy, Austin Communications Director Glen Huschka, and Austin Executive Director Alison Young.
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12:58 Suzanne Lozano, RN will emcee the press conference. Suzanne is a long time volunteer for the Heart Association has sat on the San Antonio Board of Directors and is currently a member of our State Advocacy Committee.
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1:15 Suzanne takes the podium. "This is not about the legal right to smoke – it’s about workplace safety. And the scientific evidence is clear and unarguable – secondhand smoke is dangerous and deadly. "
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1:19 State Represenative Myra Crownover (R-Denton) is up next. She is the bill author in the House and is highly committed to seeing HB 5 pass.
"House Bill 5 will save thousands of lives at no cost to business or to the State of Texas. In fact, it will save taxpayer money that the State is now spending on healthcare."
1:21 State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) is now speaking--he has authored the bill in the Senate. "Houston went smoke-free and the sky didn't fall..."
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1:25 About 250 supporters have shown up on a chilly Austin afternoon. State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is now speaking. Nelson chairs the Health and Human Services committee, her support is huge!
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1:27 Nelson introduces the man of the hour....Lance Armstrong. Lance jokingly remarks that he is going to quit racing and run for Gov in 2010...big laughs from the crowd. Having Lance's support is also huge.
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1:45 Press Conference is a wrap. They are now headed to a press briefing to answer questions and go over poll results.
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1:50 68% of Texans support smoke-free air for ALL workplaces including including bars and restaurants
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1:55 72 percent believe the rights of customers and employees to breathe clean air is more important than rights of smokers.

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