MD Anderson applauds Houston City Council for amending smoking ordinance to include e-cigarettes
MD Anderson News Release March 30, 2022
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center applauds the unanimous vote by Houston City Council today to amend the city’s ordinance against smoking in public places to include e-cigarettes. Using any form of e-cigarette in public places is now prohibited in the City of Houston.
“Today’s actions represent an important step to reduce secondhand smoke exposure of any type for all Houstonians,” said Ernest Hawk, M.D., vice president and division head of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. “We support the City of Houston’s recognition of vaping as a public health concern, especially for youth and young adults, who are most vulnerable to nicotine addiction.”
Through the collaborative efforts of MD Anderson’s EndTobacco® program, the Governmental Relations team and the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences division, MD Anderson experts have served as educational resources on this issue for the Houston Health Department and city council members.
More than 2 million young adults were estimated to use e-cigarettes in 2021. In Texas, one in four teens has tried e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have not been proven to be safer than cigarettes and most contain nicotine and other chemicals. Some studies suggest that young people who use e-cigarettes may go on to use traditional tobacco products, which are responsible for up to 30% of all cancer-related deaths and 20% of all deaths in the United States.
E-cigarettes have also not been proven as a smoking cessation tool and are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this purpose. MD Anderson has multiple resources available to help teens and adults learn about the dangers of vaping and to begin their quit journey, including:
- This is Quitting: a free and anonymous text message quit program for Texans aged 13-24, offered by the Truth Initiative® with MD Anderson. Text VAPEFREETX to 88709 to join.
- Cessation studies: free research studies available for adults in Texas at any stage of smoking cessation. Visit smokefreestudy.org to learn more.
- Community programs: free presentations to educate children and adults about the dangers of smoking and tobacco use. Visit mdanderson.org/community to learn more.