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Synopsis for July 8, 2005

The MMWR is embargoed until Thursday, 12 PM EDT.

  1. State Smoking Restrictions for Private-Sector Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars ― United States, 1998-2004
  2. Assessment of Local Health Department Smoking Policies ― North Carolina, July-August 2003
  3. Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication ― India, January 2004-May 2005
There is no MMWR Telebriefing scheduled for July 7, 2005

State Smoking Restrictions for Private-Sector Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars ― United States, 1998-2004

Secondhand smoke exposure remains a common public health hazard that is entirely preventable. Optimal protection of nonsmokers and smokers requires a smoke-free environment.

Office of Communications

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(770) 488-5131

The number and restrictiveness of state laws regulating smoking in private-sector worksites, restaurants, and bars increased from 1999 to 2004. During this period, ten states strengthened their smoking restrictions for private-sector worksites, nine strengthened restrictions for restaurants, and five strengthened restrictions for bars. These stronger policies have given nonsmokers greater protection from exposure to secondhand smoke, a known human carcinogen. At the end of 2004, however, 16 states still had no smoking restrictions in private-sector worksites, restaurants, or bars. Many other states did not provide full protection in some or all of these settings. Although secondhand smoke exposure has decreased sharply in recent years, however, a substantial portion of U.S. nonsmokers continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

Assessment of Local Health Department Smoking Policies― North Carolina, July-August 2003

States with tobacco related preemption should not only advocate for repeal of preemption, but they must utilize all exceptions in the law to advocate for complete protection from secondhand smoke exposure. New opportunities now exist for all North Carolina LHD's to become 100 percent tobacco-free.

Adam O. Goldstein, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, UNC Family Medicine
Director, Tobacco Prevention & Evaluation Program
(919) 966-4090

Almost a third of states operate under a tobacco industry standard limiting local governments from passing comprehensive smoke-free laws. North Carolina (NC) has such ‘preemptive’ legislation, but exceptions exist, including local health departments. This study of North Carolina health departments showed that extensive confusion existed among local health department (LHD) directors about this exception, with 37 percent believing they were prohibited from enacting a 100 percent tobacco-free policy on LHD grounds and 20 percent not knowing whether they were prohibited. While smoking was prohibited in almost all indoor environments, the majority of LHD’s allowed smoking at entrances and exits to health departments, in outdoor corridors, parking lots, department vehicles and events. Almost all directors felt their employees would support establishing 100 percent smoke-free health departments. The Association of LHD's in North Carolina utilized these findings to work with legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly to amend the states' smoking law in 2005, clarifying that the exemption applies to both LHD buildings and grounds.

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication ― India, January 2004-May 2005

India has made substantial progress within the past year in decreasing circulating wild poliovirus; epidemiologic and laboratory evidence suggest that poliovirus could be eliminated by the end of 2005.

Dr. Jean Clare Smith MD, MPH

Polio Eradication Branch
CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639-5103

During the past 1½ years, the Government of India has accelerated polio eradication activities through the introduction of several innovative immunization and surveillance strategies, in order to maximize by end-2005 the probability of complete interruption of circulation of wild polioviruses. With the implementation of these strategies, the number of polio cases decreased from 225 in 2003, to 134 in 2004, to 18 (as on June 18) in 2005; the number of distinct genetic clusters of wild poliovirus has declined markedly from 10 in 2003 to three in 2004 and two in 2005. The reduced number of polio cases, reduced genetic diversity and geographic spread of virus, increased surveillance sensitivity and continued high-quality supplementary immunization campaigns suggest that India will soon eliminate poliovirus.

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This page last reviewed July 7, 2005

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