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Virginia Restaurants Urged to Go Completely Smoke-Free After Major Report Finds Smoke-Free Laws Prevent Heart Attacks
Date:10/16/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health advocates are calling on all Virginia restaurants and other workplaces to go completely smoke-free following the release of a landmark report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that concluded smoke-free laws reduce the number of heart attacks and save lives.

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The IOM report, released Thursday, also found that there is conclusive evidence that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and heart attacks, and there is compelling evidence that even relatively brief exposure to secondhand smoke may cause heart attacks. The IOM is one of the most prestigious scientific authorities in the U.S. and part of the National Academy of Sciences.

Virginia, on December 1, will implement a new law that restricts smoking, but allows restaurants to have separately ventilated smoking rooms. Health advocates said the IOM report underscores why restaurants should go completely smoke-free, rather than creating smoking rooms, so they do not put the health of any employees or customers at risk by subjecting them to hazardous secondhand smoke.

"This new report is a powerful reminder that it is unacceptable for any worker or customer to be subjected to secondhand smoke," said Amy Barkley, Tobacco States and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "No one should have to put themselves at risk of a heart attack, lung cancer or the other serious diseases caused by secondhand smoke in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out. Virginia restaurants should seize the opportunity to protect the health of their workers and customers by going completely smoke-free."

Health advocates also called on Virginia officials to effectively enforce the new
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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