Letter to the Editor: Tobacco-Free Policy is a Positive Step
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UCSF’s “Tobacco-Free At Work” policy is a positive step to promote the health of the campus community. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the United States, smoking contributes to one in every five deaths, and secondhand smoke kills 50,000 people each year.
Exposure to tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke, increases the risk of heart and respiratory diseases and many types of cancer. In addition, the new policy aims to create a tobacco-free social norm, and smoking restrictions contribute to smoking cessation.
This is particularly important for young adults, who smoke at rates higher than the general public. Virtually all adult daily smokers begin smoking before age 26.
Nationwide, 800 colleges and universities have gone tobacco-free. Four health service companies, Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinic, SSM Health Care and the CIGNA Group, have adopted smoke-free policies, and at least 3,777 hospitals also have smoke-free policies.
As members of the UCSF community, we are proud to finally be at the vanguard of tobacco control policies, with the inclusion of the 100% tobacco-free workday.
Maria Roditis and Amanda Fallin
Maria Roditis and Amanda Fallin are postdoctoral fellows at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.