Resolution in Support of Eliminating Secondhand Smoke in North Carolina’s Worksites and Public Places

WHEREAS, the 2006 Surgeon’s General Report found overwhelming evidence that secondhand smoke exposure is a risk to anyone[i] and that the Surgeon General of the United States stated that “[t]he scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard.”;[ii] and

WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency classified secondhand tobacco smoke as a known human lung carcinogen, and therefore concluded that secondhand smoke is a health risk to nonsmokers;[iii] and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization states that secondhand smoke is a human carcinogen for which there is no safe level of exposure;[iv] and

WHEREAS, secondhand smoke has been proven to cause cancer, heart disease, and asthma in both smokers and non-smokers; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that all patients with or at increased risk of coronary heart disease should avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking;[vi] and

WHEREAS, studies show that infants and children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke, suffering more respiratory problems, ear infections, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome, as a result of exposure, and pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk to have low birth-weight babies;[vii] and

WHEREAS, no ventilation system can remove all the harmful elements in secondhand smoke from the air;[viii] and

WHEREAS, smoke-free air policies do not have a negative economic impact on businesses;[ix] and

WHEREAS, the majority of North Carolinians and other Americans do not smoke;[x] and

WHEREAS, worksites and public places are locations where children, members of the community and employees are exposed to secondhand smoke; and

WHEREAS, smoke-free air policies have been shown to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke, and help smokers reduce the number of cigarettes consumed or quit entirely;[xi]

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the undersigned endorses making all North Carolina worksites and public places 100% smoke-free.

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Updated June 2015

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[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General—Executive Summary.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

[ii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. New Surgeon General’s Report Focuses on the Effects of Secondhand Smoke, 27 June 2006. HHS Press Office.

[iii] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders.” Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;1992. Pub. No. EPA/600/6-90/006F.

[iv] World Health Organization. International Consultation on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and Child Health./ January 11-14, 1999 (WHO/NCD/TFI/99.10)

[v] National Cancer Institute. Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental 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.

[vi] Pechacek, TF and Babb, S How acute and reversible are the cardiovascular risks of secondhand smoke? BMJ. 2004 Apr 24;328(7446):980-3.

[vii] US Department of Health and Human Services. Women and smoking: a report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001.

[viii] Samet, J.; Bohanon, Jr., H.R.; Coultas, D.B.; Houston, T.P.; Persily, A.K.; Schoen, L.J.; Spengler, J.; Callaway, C.A., “ASHRAE position document on environmental tobacco smoke,” American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), 2005.

[ix] Scollo, M., Lal, A., Hyland, A., Glantz, SA. Review of the quality of studies on the economic effects of smoke-free policies on the hospitality industry. Tobacco Control, 12: 13-20, 2003.

[x] “Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adult in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 23 Jan. 2015. Web. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/index.htm.

[xi] Zaza, S., Peter A. Briss, PA, Harris, KW (eds), The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Oxford University Press, 2005.

North Carolina Alliance for HealthResolution in Support of Eliminating Secondhand Smoke in North Carolina’s Worksites and Public Places