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El Paso: Star of Texas The Passage of a Smoke-Free Ordinance.

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Presentation on theme: "El Paso: Star of Texas The Passage of a Smoke-Free Ordinance."— Presentation transcript:

1 El Paso: Star of Texas The Passage of a Smoke-Free Ordinance

2 Presentation Outline I. Introductions II. El Paso Demographics III. A Historical Perspective IV. Organization & Grassroots Mobilization V. Getting the Votes VI. Lessons Learned VII. Q & A

3 Introduction of Presenters Becky Zima, Tobacco Control Coordinator –Texas Department of Health Sue Beatty, Health Education & Training Manager –City of El Paso, Department of Public Health

4 El Paso Demographics Population in ,622 Hispanic population 78.2% U.S. Census Bureau 5th largest city in Texas Largest border city in the nation Cuidad Juarez, Mexico is estimated to be 1.5 million 10th poorest city in the nation Highest uninsured rate in the nation (37%) UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

5 A Historical Perspective

6 November 1994 –El Paso Tobacco/Smoke Free Coalition presented a proposed revision of the city ordinance on smoking to El Paso City-County Board of Health. –Board of Health develops subcommittee to review and revise the proposed ordinance. March 1995 –El Paso City-County Board of Health holds public hearing. March 1996 –Ordinance is presented to City Council. –City Council refers ordinance to Legislative Review Committee. –Ordinance tabled indefinitely.

7 Lessons Learned from 1996 There were representatives from the El Paso Restaurant Association in both the El Paso Tobacco/Smoke Free Coalition and on the Health Board subcommittee that worked on the proposed ordinance. The resulting proposed ordinance was weak –Smoking was prohibited in public places, but in work places designated smoking areas were allowed. –In restaurants, separate enclosed smoking sections with their own ventilation system were allowed. –Bars & cocktail lounges were exempt from the ordinance.

8 Conditions that Open the Door

9 Organization & Grassroots Mobilization

10 Getting Started –Know who to ask for help –Plan for success –Be flexible, diverse and action-oriented –Be aware of the time commitment involved –Educate, educate, educate –Celebrate and share every success

11 Dont Be Afraid to Ask for Help Contact key agencies for assistance –The Centers for Disease Control –Americans for Nonsmokers Rights –State Departments of Health –American Cancer Society –American Heart Association –American Lung Association –Successful neighboring cities or jurisdictions

12 Before You Can Educate the Public, Educate Yourself! Conduct research on: –Smoke free ordinances –Second hand smoke facts and statistics –Tobacco industry tactics –Media support of clean indoor air –Your citys present ordinance –If applicable, revisit previous attempts to pass a smoke free ordinance and why they failed –City charter –City staff, i.e., City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk –City Council voting records and their term of office –Your opposition

13 Develop a Plan

14 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan November 2000 –Identify and Recruit a Clean Air Ordinance Task Force strategic brainstorming meeting to identify and recruit core task force members Members should be representatives of El Paso encompassing geographic areas, ethnic populations and diverse occupations (key business leaders, educators and health professionals ).

15 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan continued Group should be between individuals. Strategic meetings with them regarding city council members. Research how each members feels about a clean indoor air ordinance, who knows the members and how well, and identify who is the best team to approach them.

16 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan continued December 2000 –Conduct Research Research city council reps voting records and their term of office. Revisit the core group that had tried to pass the El Paso clean indoor air ordinance before –why did it fail? Identify the shortcomings and develop a strategy to overcome them. Find and identify a Champion on City Council that will carry the ordinance forward. Research other city ordinances and how they obtained passage of their ordinance.

17 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan continued January 2001 –Continue research and start heavy recruitment of former smokers, key business leaders, health educators, and health professionals Coalition for A Smoke-Free Paso del Norte contacts their board of directors, volunteers and staff and initiates letter writing campaign to rally the silent majority.

18 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan continued February 2001 –Develop strategic plan as per CDC and Prevention best practices to present to City Council. –Continue recruitment of key supporters, including youth. March 2001 –Visit city reps and commence pro-active media campaign. Visits are best to do with a group of three individuals: –a person with a high community profile –a constituent –a coalition member. When ready to do city rep visits –develop and take an information packet - local smoking statistics & other relevant data.

19 Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Plan continued April 2001 –Ordinance written and presented to City Council. May 2001 –City Council elections June 2001 –City Council votes on ordinance

20 Recruiting and Building a Base of Support Inner Core –Leadership, strategic planning, day-to-day decision making, media contacts, etc. Committed Activists –Attend public meetings and rallies, testify, make presentations, phone banking, stuff envelopes, etc. Active Supporters –Call or write elected officials, write letters to the editor, etc.

21 Be Aware of the Time Commitment Involved

22 Smoke Free El Paso Collaborative Core Member Job Description Overview Attributes Responsibilities Time Commitment Training

23 Be flexible, Diverse and Action-Oriented As situations occur, timelines change Be willing to expand leadership group Continually build membership base Develop youth tobacco control advocates

24 Educate, Educate, Educate! Youth Community Media Policy Makers

25 Youth Involvement Recruit youth as tobacco control advocates Provide leadership training for the youth coalition Empower the youth to set their own goals –Write persuasive speeches for public hearing –Testify at public hearing –Hold a youth rally in front of City Council Chambers the day of the vote

26 Media Designate a spokesperson for your group Develop key speaking points and distribute to your committed activists –Its a public health issue –We are not against smokers, we are for clean indoor air –Smoking is a privilege. When your actions infringe on the health of others, you lose that privilege. Be proactive with the media by providing them with background information, facts and statistics

27 Media Cultivate a Media Champion Be vigilant with media coverage and when negative press airs or appears in print, be ready to mobilize your group to respond immediately Conduct a letters to the editor campaign Involve youth in media strategy


29 Community Encourage committed activists to spread the word at their workplace, church, civic organizations, as well as among friends and families Keep the issue in the news Keep key players informed of developments via , phone or fax Conduct a comprehensive community-wide petition drive

30 Getting the Votes

31 Know the Facts Educate yourself Lobbying –Where does my organization stand? –If you cant directly lobby, include someone who can –Utilize your rights as a private citizen to write letters and visit City Council Representatives –Take Time Off Educate policy makers

32 Securing a Champion Talk with all elected officials in an effort to gauge their support of the initiative Larry Medina, City of El Paso Representative

33 Provide Policymakers with Educational Materials Harmful effects of ETS Importance of protecting both patron and employee health Workplace Health and Safety Codes/ Standards –Include WORKPLACE/EMPLOYEE health when addressing smoke free ordinances with policy makers. This actually gives them a tool to use when battling with opponents. It becomes their obligation to pass such measures Recruit bar and wait staff to make rounds with you, testify or write letters

34 Economic Impact of Ban Research the economic portion Calm their fears Remain calm: take each concern one at a time and no matter how ridiculous, dont get exasperated! –A few we ran into in El Paso included: Everyone is going to Juarez, Mexico to eat. More people will go to the Tigua Reservation and eat. We will see an increase in the number of people going to the casino across the New Mexico state line. Stress the importance of an even playing field – Needs to be inclusive of bars –No compromise with ventilation systems

35 Be Available Provide point of contact names and numbers for elected officials in case of questions Be prepared to speak at forums. If necessary appoint lead member(s) for that task

36 After Passage Continue to be vigilant regarding a referendum Continue to thank city council representatives and publicly acknowledge their leadership through letters to the editor, media talk shows, s and personal letters

37 Since Passage Trained Law Enforcement Code Enforcement

38 Ordinance Education Strategies Determine the target audience – who needs to receive information regarding the ordinance –Public –Businesses –Enforcement Personnel

39 Ordinance Education Strategies Brainstorm on how to get the information to the targeted audience –Media –Brochures –Informational sessions –Mass Mailing –Utility stuffers –Telephone hotline –Informational booths –Through enforcement personnel –Etc.

40 Ordinance Education Strategies Collaborate with your partners to get the best bang for your buck –Decide who will do what –Set a timeline –Keep track of progress –Communicate frequently

41 What worked in El Paso Educational packets for businesses Mass mailing to businesses One or two people to handle media requests – standard soundbite One place to call to ask questions Educational sessions for enforcement personnel

42 What worked in Socorro Educational packets for businesses Press conference at City Hall to celebrate ordinance passage Booth at City Hall during permit renewal phase (10 days) Door to door visits to those businesses that didnt receive packets at City Hall Spot checks of businesses to check for compliance and answer questions

43 Enforcement Strategies Educate enforcement personnel Grace period before issuing citations Educations vs. Enforcement Communication between public health and other enforcement agencies Encourage the public to complain to management or call the appropriate enforcement agency at the time smoking is occurring

44 Lessons Learned Luck and good organization have amazing results! Remain in constant contact with city representatives Be aware that this is a political process and in turn the pendulum swings from one extreme to the next Dont have a citizens committee write the ordinance. It is imperative to have a collaborative and unified approach throughout the campaign. 1 – 2 Weeks of non-stop Calling for information on the ordinance.

45 Questions?

46 Becky Zima Regional Coordinator DSHS – Tobacco Prevention and Control Phone # Cell # Sue Beatty Health Education & Training Manager City of El Paso, Department of Public Health Phone #

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