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Toward Smoke-Free VA Hospitals-Reply

Anne Joseph, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1989;261(1):44. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420010053023.
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In Reply. —  There has been an encouraging show of support for the description of a smoke-free policy at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, including letters from Drs Goldberg, Luck, and Prochazka. A number of hospitals have indicated that results from their surveys of patients and employees also demonstrate more support and less resistance to restricted smoking than anticipated. Patients, families, and visitors at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center continue to enjoy a clean indoor environment, despite a minority who disapprove of the smoke-free policy. Many inpatients who smoke are abstinent during hospitalization, which may contribute to permanent smoking cessation. The favorable response from other hospitals, in addition to our experience, suggests that the VA should consider a central directive to stop smoking in its hospitals and should help reduce the prevalence of this important and remediable risk factor for heart disease and cancer.


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