Clinton Global Initiative Challenges Employers to Provide Smoke-Free Workplaces Around the World

September 22, 2011

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The Clinton Global Initiative has assembled a coalition of businesses, civic leaders and health advocates — including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — to lead a global effort for smoke-free workplaces.

Meeting in New York as world leaders pledged at the United Nations to address the global public health crisis from non-communicable diseases, former President Bill Clinton announced the Global Smoke-Free Worksite Challenge.

It asks employers to commit to completely eliminate smoking at all workplaces.

Companies and organizations joining the challenge agree to:

  • Implement smoke-free policies at all workplaces

  • Share best-practices on how to implement smoke-free policies, influence their suppliers to go smoke-free and ensure public support among  top executives

  • Provide financial support and leadership so that countries and employers have the resources and means to implement smoke-free workplaces

  • Work to enact comprehensive smoke-free laws in countries where indoor smoking is still allowed.

Tobacco-Free Kids is committed to assisting employers and governments in this urgent initiative to protect workers from secondhand smoke, which has been proven to cause lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory problems and other conditions. Tobacco kills nearly six million people worldwide each year, including more than 600,000 non-smokers who die from exposure to secondhand smoke. 

According to the World Health Organization, comprehensive smoke-free policies are a 'best buy' for reducing tobacco use and combating an epidemic of non-communicable diseases, which now cause two out of three deaths worldwide. Tobacco use is a risk factor for all of the leading non-communicable diseases including cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory illnesses and diabetes.