Who are we?
The Tobacco-Free Austin Coalition (TFA) was founded by leading volunteer health agencies including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association and includes a diverse group of organizations and individuals concerned about the toll of tobacco in our community.
What do we do?
Following the American Cancer Society’s Communities of Excellence Guidelines for tobacco control, the coalition works to reduce the health and economic consequences of tobacco use in Austin. TFA aims to prevent youth initiation, promote cessation, eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, reduce tobacco industry influence and secure adequate funding for comprehensive services and programs so that Austinites can live tobacco-free.
What does the Tobacco-Free Austin Coalition Support?
The Tobacco-Free Austin Coalition, formed by leading health agencies including the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, supports 100% smoke-free public places in Austin, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and all work sites. This is the only way to fairly protect all workers and patrons from unnecessary exposure to toxins in secondhand smoke.
When were we formed?
The Tobacco-Free Austin Coalition was formed in early 2002 after a community evaluation indicated a need for stronger local tobacco education, prevention and control.
Where do we work?
The Tobacco-Free Austin Coalition focuses on tobacco-related issues in the Austin area.
Tobacco use continues to be a serious threat to the health and quality of life in Austin. The tobacco industry aggressively markets tobacco to our community, especially our youth. Despite known health risks, approximately 45,000 kids in Travis County smoke cigarettes. Of these youth, one-third will die prematurely of tobacco-related illness. Austin and Travis County combined have received over $20 million in tobacco settlement funds over the last three years, none of which has been used for tobacco prevention and control activities. Illness, death and related medical costs due to tobacco use in the Austin area would be greatly reduced with local support for stronger tobacco education, prevention and control efforts.
How to get involved:
We are always looking for every-day citizens, advocates and organizations to join us in our mission to reduce the toll of tobacco in Austin. If you are interested in getting involved beyond our Smoke-Free Austin campaign, please contact us. Besides working on local issues, we have a legislative agenda and there are opportunities to influence state policy makers on several issues. Contact Us or Act Now
Other issues TFA is currently working
on: TFA’s legislative agenda includes supporting the proposed $1.00 cigarette tax increase. Not only would this measure help fill an anticipated budget shortfall, the tax increase would prevent many Austin children from ever starting to smoke and would help many adults quit. But a tax alone is not enough to reduce the overwhelming toll of tobacco in our area or statewide. TFA is supporting five cents of the proposed tax increase going toward a statewide comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program. In addition, the Coalition opposes securitization, the selling-off of future tobacco settlement funds for one discounted lump sum, as wel as any preemption bill that would weaken local tobacco control efforts.