Health district bans all smoking on campus to be a symbol of cha - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Health district bans all smoking on campus to be a symbol of change


A local health district is trying to be a symbol of change to stop smoking.

The McLennan County Health District is planning on making their campus completely smoke-free. Currently the rule is no smoking inside, but you can smoke 20 feet away from the building.

On May 1, the ban will include the parking lot and inside cars as well. It will also include all kinds of nicotine products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

The health district says they'll pave the way, and hopefully other buildings will follow suit.

"We're using this to be a leader in the community and to show that this is really important and when you make these steps as a community you really can make a difference in lowering heart disease in your community," Health district spokesperson Kelly Craine said.

Craine cited research by the American Heart Association that says when comprehensive smoke-free laws hospitalizations for heart attacks decrease by 15 percent. It also says the most comprehensive laws resulted in more health benefits.

Craine also explained why they're banning electronic cigarettes as well as tobacco cigarettes.

"We still need to learn more about e-cigarettes and their effects overall. Not only on physically but sociologically as well. So we want to go ahead and make it easy and just say ban everything with nicotine," Craine said.

Craine says there won't be cigarette cops out in the parking lot, but they'll ask anybody lighting up to politely put it out.

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