Jul. 1 2011
WASHINGTON, DC (July 1, 2011) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has taken an important step to protect the health of all HHS employees and set a positive example for the rest of government by adopting a new policy declaring all HHS facilities and campuses to be tobacco-free, effective today. The new policy will protect HHS employees from harmful secondhand smoke and encourage smokers and other tobacco users to quit and protect their health. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 that cause cancer, and is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease and serious respiratory illnesses.
We applaud HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Administration E.J. Holland, Jr., and other members of the Department for their strong leadership in the fight against tobacco, the nation's leading cause of preventable death. Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year.