HBA-MSH H.B. 1728 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1728 By: Maxey Public Health 3/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the superintendent of each state hospital sets the smoking policy for each facility. Two state hospital campuses have a ban on smoking, both inside and outside buildings. This means that individuals who are hospitalized at these facilities for psychiatric treatment are required to abstain from smoking during their institutionalization. Some patients have indicated a desire not to address their tobacco addiction and psychiatric treatment simultaneously. House Bill 1728 requires the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation to allow smoking in its facilities. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 1728 amends the Health and Safety Code to require the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) to permit the possession, delivery, and use of cigarettes and tobacco products by patients and staff of state hospitals. The bill requires MHMR to provide for the designation by the superintendent of each state hospital of approved areas in which patients and staff of the state hospital are permitted to use cigarettes and tobacco products. The bill provides that the approved areas must be accessible to the patients and staff. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.