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Get Ready for a Smoke Free Houston

M. D. Anderson News Release 08/20/2007

The City of Houston is taking action to protect Houstonians from the substantial health risks associated with secondhand smoke. The City Council has passed an ordinance that will make all workplaces and public spaces smoke free starting September 1, 2007.

Other cities have passed similar regulations. Persons can support legislative policies for clean indoor air by calling or e-mailing their mayor and city government. 

Health Risks and Secondhand Smoke
Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death and is accountable for more than 30% of all cancer deaths. More people die from tobacco related illnesses than from automobile accidents, illegal drug abuse, AIDS, suicide, homicide, fires and alcohol combined. In fact, adults who smoke cigarettes die an average of 14 years earlier than nonsmokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smoking is responsible for 87% of all lung cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society. Smoking contributes to heart disease, stroke, lung diseases such as emphysema and asthma, low birth rate in newborns and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Secondhand smoke increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30% and lung cancer by 20 to 30%. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, secondhand smoke kills nearly 38,000 non-smokers each year.

You can quit
For those who smoke, it's never too late to quit the tobacco habit. M. D. Anderson is conducting a variety of research studies to find newer, effective ways to help smokers quit.

Studies currently recruiting participants are listed below. Many of these studies provide tobacco cessation medication and/or counseling to participants free of cost.

  • Project Baby Steps – smoking cessation treatment addressing the special needs of pregnant smokers
  • Project CARE – smoking cessation research study for those 21 years or older. Participants receive free nicotine patches and counseling, and are paid for their time.
  • Project MIND (Group Therapy for Nicotine Dependence) – study to evaluate smoking cessation treatment offered in a group setting
  • Project MOM – study to help women stay smoke-free after the birth of a child
  • Project PASS – international study to assess the efficacy of the drug Dianicline as an aid to smoking cessation
  • Pharmacogenetics, Emotional Reactivity and Smoking – study to assess the effects of antidepressants on the emotional state of smokers who are trying to quit
  • Project CASA – study to address the smoking cessation needs of Mexican American families through education in the form of fotonovelas
  • Project PRISM – smoking cessation study for those 18 years or older. Participants receive free nicotine patches, counseling and self-help materials, and are paid for their time.
  • Project SOAR – study to help smokers who are experiencing depression while trying to quit smoking

It takes an average person four to six attempts to quit smoking. For more information or to find additional cancer prevention studies, visit Prevention Research Studies or call askMDAnderson at 1-877-632-6789.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center