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The mission of the Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition is to promote and advocate for a tobacco-free environment by empowering communities to affect individual and social change and promote compliance and support for enforcement of all tobacco laws.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the court recognized the Hidalgo County Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition for calling attention to the issues surrounding tobacco use, and recognizing their efforts in educating the community on the dangers of tobacco use.
The organization was created at Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas and is comprised of cross-community volunteers with representation from multiple sectors.
Currently, there are 72 smoke-free cities in Texas, including 16 in the Rio Grande Valley. Ten cities in Hidalgo County have implemented 100% smoke-free ordinances, they are the cities of Alton, Donna, Edinburg, Mercedes, Pharr, San Juan, Mission, Peñitas, Weslaco, and Palmview.
“All of these communities have demonstrated that they take public health as a priority in their communities, and are protecting not only the residents, and visitors, but also the workers,” said TPCC Coordinator Gilda Bowen, for UNIDAD Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition.
In just three short years, the organization’s strong outreach efforts and collaboration with municipalities across Hidalgo County has resulted in achieving the highest number of cities in Texas with comprehensive smoke-free ordinances.