Smoke Free Indoor Air

  • Date: Jan 01 1987
  • Policy Number: 8710

Key Words: Smoking

The American Public Health Association,

Noting that the United States Surgeon General's 1986 Report on the Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking concluded that involuntary smoking is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers and that simple separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but not eliminate, exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke;1 and

Knowing that the Surgeon General states that pollution from tobacco smoke in homes, offices, worksites, and certain public places can reach levels which exceed contaminant levels permitted under environmental and occupational health regulations;2 and

Noting that a 1986 public survey by Lieberman Research Inc., for the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association found substantial support for smoke-free public places;3 and

Further noting that while a majority of states have clean indoor air laws, these laws vary in effectiveness and in the degree to which they are enforced; and

Recognizing that many adult Americans spend the majority of their waking hours at the workplace and that every year about 3,200 lung cancer deaths appear to be caused by exposures to tobacco smoke at work;4 and

Recognizing the addictive properties of tobacco; and

Noting also that these workplace exposures can lead to increased absenteeism and medical expenditures;5 and

Knowing that involuntary smoking is now recognized as an avoidable and preventable cause of disease; therefore

  1. Endorses clean indoor air laws at the federal, state, and local levels which are designed to restrict smoking in public places, including vehicles used for public transportation and to protect the health of nonsmokers;
  2. Urges businesses and work sites to provide a smoke-free environment for all working employees and provide smoking cessation programs and incentives for employees wanting to quit; and further to work to reduce those stressors in the workplace which may encourage smoking;
  3. Urges those states with no legislation governing smoking in public places to enact such legislation based upon those models that have been compiled by those in the public and private sectors and which does not jeopardize the employment rights of workers by permitting employers to discipline employees for failure to complete successfully smoking cessation programs;7,8
  4. Urges states with existing clean indoor air laws to improve enforcement or strengthen that legislation as needed; and
  5. Reaffirms, as stated in APHA Policy Statement No. 8410 that health agencies and other professional associations prohibit smoking on their premises thereby becoming exemplars of clean indoor air regulations.

References:

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services: The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking. Washington, DC: GPO, 1986.
  2. Koop CE: Letter from the US Surgeon General, dated February 7, 1986, to Stanton Glantz, as cited in Hanauer P, Barr G, Glantz S: Legislative Approaches to A Smoke-free Society. Berkeley, CA: Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, 1986;19.
  3. Lieberman Research Inc: A Study of Public Attitudes toward Cigarette Advertising and Promotional Programs. New York, NY: Lieberman Research, October 1986.
  4. Repace JL, Lowrey AH: A quantitative estimate of nonsmokers' lung cancer risk from passive smoking. Environ Int 1985;11:3-22.
  5. Eriksen M: Workplace Smoking Control: Rationale and Approaches. Adv Health Educ Promotion 1986;1:Part A.
  6. American Public Health Association Policy Statement No. 8410: Cigarette Sales and Smoking in Pharmacies, Health Facilities and Health Agencies. APHA Public Policy Statements 1948 to present, cumulative. Washington, DC: APHA, current volume.
  7. Hanauer P, Barr G, Glantz S: Legislative Approaches to a Smoke-Free Society. Berkeley, CA: Americans for Non-smokers' Rights Foundation, 1986.
  8. Tri-Agency Tobacco Free Project, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association Clearinghouse, A. Mickel-Coordinator, Washington, DC.

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