WASHINGTON, D.C. -- January 10, 2007 -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today announced that effective immediately, the Speaker’s Lobby will go smoke-free. The new policy comes just a week after Washington, D.C.’s smoke-free workplaces law took full effect, making all indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. Following is a statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM President Daniel E. Smith on Speaker Pelosi’s announcement:
“We are pleased that those who frequent the Speaker’s Lobby will now be afforded the same protection from secondhand smoke that other District workers currently enjoy. Today’s decision will remove a major threat to the health of Members, staffers and others who frequent the Speaker’s Lobby. Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of disease and premature death, and the evidence is clear that secondhand smoke is a cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other serious diseases.
“In the United States, secondhand smoke causes 35,000 to 45,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,000 deaths from lung cancer among nonsmokers annually. Just last year, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that only strong smoke-free policies provide effective protection against this health hazard. Thus, today’s decision to make the Speaker’s Lobby smoke-free is in the best interests of not only those work there, but also the constituents they represent.
“While we know that smoking is a deadly habit, we also know that quitting is not easy. Smokers who wish to kick the habit can double their chances of quitting for good by calling the D.C. Quitline®, a free telephone-based smoking cessation service, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. This service is available anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Eliminating tobacco’s deadly toll in the United States has long been a bipartisan effort in Congress and today’s decision is a step forward in the fight to help achieve this.”
ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan sister advocacy organization of the American Cancer Society. ACS CAN is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major public health problem through issue campaigns and voter education aimed at lawmakers and candidates to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer. ACS CAN does not endorse candidates and is not a political action committee (PAC). For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.
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