Friday, June 30, 2006

The Science Is Clear: No Smoking

Surgeon General Warns of Secondhand Smoke
Published: June 27, 2006

Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona declared today that the evidence is now "indisputable" that secondhand smoke is an "alarming" public health hazard, and warned that measures like no-smoking sections don't provide adequate protection.

"Smoke-free environments are the only approach that protects nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke," he said.

Dr. Carmona did not call for a federal ban on smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants, as a growing number of cities and states have done. He said he saw his role as providing the American people and Congress with definitive information on the subject.

"We hope that they will make the right decision on behalf of their constituents," Dr. Carmona said.

Smoking bans have often been bitterly resisted by business owners worried about losing customers and by groups skeptical about the dangers posed by secondhand smoke. But Dr. Carmona today said that "overwhelming" evidence showed that secondhand smoke is responsible for "tens of thousands" of premature deaths from heart disease and cancer among nonsmokers each year.

"I am here to say the debate is over: the science is clear," Dr. Carmona said at a televised news conference this morning, at which he released a report updating the original surgeon general's study of secondhand smoke in 1986.

If only the EPA Chief was as definitive and observant as this.

Full article