WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 17, 2017 – The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs advanced legislation today that would make all Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities smoke-free. The bill (H.R. 1662) would prohibit the use of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other combustible tobacco products inside any VHA facility soon after it becomes law, and would prohibit smoking outside VHA facilities by 2022.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:
“ACS CAN applauds the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for moving this legislation forward. Its passage will ensure sick and disabled veterans are no longer subjected to the dangers of secondhand smoke when receiving medical care.
“Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, and the U.S. Surgeon General has determined there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are linked to cancer, heart disease, and other serious diseases.
“As a nation, we must do more to improve and protect the health of our veterans. Providing a smoke-free VHA system is an important step in the right direction.
“We call on the full House of Representatives to quickly approve this critical piece of public health legislation.”