For Immediate Release

APHA Operating Policy

That the American Public Health Association Convene Its Annual Meetings in Smoke-free Cities

Whereas, tobacco kills more than 440,000 Americans each year1 and is one of the major preventable causes of premature death and disability 2 ; and,

Whereas, secondhand tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogen (i.e., unsafe at any level of exposure) responsible for the deaths of approximately 53,000 nonsmokers annually in the United States3, 4; and,

Whereas, smoke-free policies are associated with reduced primary smoking rates and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke5, 6; and,

Whereas, the majority of major population centers with facilities appropriate for the APHA Annual Meeting now have smoke-free policies that protect public health in all public venues, including restaurants and bars; and,

Whereas, APHA seeks to influence positively and directly support strong public health policies;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

When selecting sites and negotiating contracts for Annual Meeting venues beyond those currently contracted, APHA will hold all its future meetings in smoke-free cities. An exception could be made by the Executive Board if there are specific circumstances that would severely limit APHA’s ability to find an appropriate venue for its Annual Meeting; and that APHA work with Affiliates to support local efforts to promote comprehensive smoke-free policies in host cities.

November 9, 2004


  1. CDC. Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs—United States—1995–1999. MMWR 2002;51(14):300–3.
  2. McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA 1993;270:2207-12.
  3. National Cancer Institute. Health Effects of Exposure to Environment Tobacco Smoke. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 10. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute; 1999. NIH Pub. No. 99-4645.
  4. CDC. Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals: Tobacco Smoke. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Environmental Health; 2003:80. NCEH Pub No. 03-0022.
  5. Repace J. Respirable Particles and Carcinogens in the Air of Delaware Hospitality Venues Before and After a Smoking Ban. J Occup Environ Med. 2004;46:887–905.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strategies for reducing exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, increasing tobacco-use cessation, and reducing initiation in communities and health-care systems. A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR 2000;49(No. RR-12):1-10.
  7. American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Municipalities with Local 100% Smokefree Laws. [On-Line]. Available: Accessed November 6, 2004.


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