The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020, a comprehensive, nationwide health promotion and disease prevention agenda, includes the goal of reducing illness, disability, and death related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Currently, most Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke, and children are at greatest risk. For 2020, the goal is to reduce the proportion of people exposed to secondhand smoke by 10 percent. To assist with achieving this goal, Healthy People 2020 includes ideas for community interventions, such as encouraging the introduction of smoke-free policies in workplaces and other public areas.

More information about this program is available on the Healthy People 2020 Web site at http://www.healthypeople.gov/ on the Internet.


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Internationally, a growing number of nations, including France, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and Uruguay, require all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, to be smoke free.

Selected References

1. National Toxicology Program. Report on Carcinogens. Eleventh Edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2005.

2. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Progress Report 2003. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 2004.

3. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking. Lyon, France: 2002. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Vol. 83.

4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: 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.

5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

6. National Cancer Institute. Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 1999. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 10.

7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking (Also Known as Exposure to Secondhand Smoke or Environmental Tobacco Smoke—ETS). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1992.

8. California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant: Part B Health Effects, 2005.

Source: National Cancer Institute