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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Global Smoke-Free Worksite Challenge


As we trudge forward into the 21st century, people are more socially aware of the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes and as a result more and more places are banning smoking. College campuses, public beaches, airports, and even neighborhood parks have had smoking bans enacted by local and state government. People who smoke are finding it harder and harder to "light up", pretty soon smoke breaks in work environments may be a thing of the past. A challenge was issued by a coalition of health-care related organizations and companies this week, asking for employers worldwide to ban smoking. The challenge was announced at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, known as the Global Smoke-Free Worksite Challenge.

More than 200 companies and nonprofits that work on global health issues, as well as The Mayo Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, the American Cancer Society, and the Global Business Coalition on Health, have taken the challenge, The Wall Street Journal reports. Those who have signed on have pledged to help influence other companies and organizations put in place smoke free policies. As smoking cigarettes in public becomes less socially acceptable, it becomes easier for companies to join the band wagon.

25 states and the District of Columbia have already banned smoking in the workplace, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More states are likely to place their own bans on smoking in the work place as more companies take it upon themselves to ban smoking. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that only 11 percent of people worldwide are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws. Cigarettes are extremely unhealthy, not just for the smoker but also for those around smoking. The fewer places that allow smoking, the better it is for everyone.

Will you take the challenge?

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