Wednesday, September 21, 2011
VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. John Noseworthy and Dr. Richard Hurt are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog.
The challenge's goal is to expand the number of employees of all sectors able to work in a smoke-free environment. The effort is a global multi-sector partnership comprised of private sector companies, nongovernmental organizations and governments. Partners are committed to making their worksites 100 percent smoke-free and commit to assist others to do so.
"Mayo Clinic has had a leading role, as a large employer, in creating a smoke-free worksite for close to 30 years," says John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. "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." Dr. Noseworthy was part of a press conference today to announce Mayo's commitment.
The challenge builds on the commitment Mayo Clinic brought last year to CGI. That initiative, called Global Bridges, has begun to build and energize a worldwide 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, M.D., 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."
Over twenty-five years ago, Mayo Clinic was one of the first medical centers in the United States to create a smoke-free worksite.
Global Smoke-Free Worksite Challenge is a collaboration among the American Cancer Society, the Global Business Coalition on Health, Johnson & Johnson, Mayo Clinic, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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