The Rio Grande City Commission approved an ordinance Wednesday, July 18, making Rio Grande City the 101st city in Texas to pass a Comprehensive Smoke Free Ordinance.
“This is a step forward in ensuring that we do all that we can to promote and protect the public health and welfare of Rio Grande City,” said Mayor Joel Villarreal.
Long-term benefits for implementing a comprehensive smoke free ordinance for the public include; improved employee and public health, a decline in hospital admissions due to second hand smoke related diseases and the reduction of indoor air pollution.
Employers benefit from a smoke free environment with lower health insurance costs, increased worker productivity, lower cleaning costs and higher property resale values.
“On behalf of members and volunteers of the American Heart Association, we congratulate Rio Grande City for passing a smoke free ordinance” said Jerry Saavedra, Sr. Community Policy Manager, American Heart Association. “We applaud the leadership of the Rio Grande City Commission on taking action to improve the health of the community.”
According to the American Lung Association, more than 41,000 people die in the United States from preventable diseases caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Additionally, the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report states that adopting smoke free workplace policies is the simplest and most cost effective way to improve worker and business health.