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January 6, 1989

Toward Smoke-Free VA Hospitals

JAMA. 1989;261(1):43-44. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420010053021

To the Editor.—  We congratulate the staff and patients of the Minneapolis Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center for making their hospital a smoke-free, healthy environment.1 Their effort certainly will pay back benefits in improved health and will save medical care dollars for the system and the nation.Our station, too, is following VA Central Office Circular 10-86-90, which implements Public Law 98-160 and mandates preventive health care in all VA health care programs. Smoking control is one of nine agendas for health maintenance included at this time. For at least ten years, the VA Pulmonary Phyicians Association has spearheaded efforts to obtain cessation of the sale of cigarettes in all federal installations. Twenty-three of 172 VA medical centers have stopped the sale of tobacco products, and 11 stations were smoke free by July 4,1988.Tax-supported institutions must constantly try to improve efficiency or do more with less funding. Cessation