Mayo Clinic has joined private sector companies, nongovernmental organizations, and governments on a new global campaign to make workplaces around the world smoke-free, according to an announcement yesterday at the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The goal of the Global Smoke-Free Worksite Challenge is to expand the number of employees of all sectors able to work in a smoke-free environment.

Partners—including the American Cancer Society, Johnson & Johnson, the Global Business Coalition on Health, and the US Department of Health & Human Services—are committed to making their worksites 100% smoke-free and commit to assist others to do so.

“Mayo Clinic has a leading role, as a larger employer, in creating a smoke-free worksite for close to 30 years,” says John Noseworthy, MD, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. “We are committed to the needs of our patients and employees, and we are excited to be a partner in this challenge to help make workplaces around the world smoke-free so all employees have the right to clean air.”

The challenge builds on the commitment Mayo Clinic made at the CGI last year. That initiative, called Global Bridges, has worked to build a network of health care providers to lead development of tobacco control and treatment programs in their countries and regions. In less than a year, Global Bridges has trained more than 5,800 health care providers from 31 countries in sessions ranging from short webinars to intensive workshops.

“Secondhand smoke affects everyone,” says Richard Hurt, MD, chairman of Global Bridges and founding director of Mayo’s Nicotine Dependence Center. “This challenge protects workers from secondhand smoke who don’t have any choice. Smokers in a smoke-free environment are more likely to reduce their smoking and increase the chances of them quitting smoking, so it’s healthy for everyone. Right now, over 30 countries across the world have smoke-free workplace laws, which is pretty amazing. We’re hoping to increase that number dramatically with this initiative.

Source: Mayo Clinic