State Smoking Restrictions for Private-Sector Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars—United States, 2004 and 2007
May 23, 2008 / Vol. 57 / No. 20
- This report reviews the status of state laws restricting smoking in private-sector worksites, restaurants, and bars as of December 31, 2004, and December 31, 2007.
- These settings were selected because they are key locations in which adult nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke and because workers in restaurants and bars are especially likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at work—at especially high concentrations.
- The study is based on information from CDC's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System database and updates an MMWR published in July 2005.
- The findings show a substantial increase in the number and restrictiveness of state laws regulating smoking in these settings.
- This increase has provided nonsmokers with enhanced protection from secondhand smoke exposure.
- In every case where a change to an existing law occurred, the restrictions became more protective.
- During the 3-year study period (2005–2007)—
- The number of states with laws prohibiting smoking in private-sector worksites, restaurants, and/or bars tripled (from 8 to 25).
- The number of states with no such laws was halved (from 16 to 8).
- The number of states that required all three settings to be smoke-free increased from 3 to 12.
- In every case where a change occurred, the restrictions became more stringent.
- Additionally, the report finds that—
- Eighteen states changed the level of their smoking restrictions for private-sector worksites.
- Eighteen states changed the level of their smoking restrictions for restaurants.
- Twelve states changed the level of their smoking restrictions for bars.
- These increased smoking restrictions would be expected to reduce secondhand smoke exposure and related morbidity and mortality among nonsmokers.
- The findings suggest that it may be possible to achieve the national health objective of establishing laws making indoor public places and worksites smoke-free in all states by the year 2010.
- Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 carcinogens.
- Secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults.
- There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.
- Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure.
- Smoke-free workplace policies are the only effective approach to ensure that secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace.
- In addition to protecting nonsmokers from the health effects of secondhand smoke, smoke-free workplace policies also help smokers quit.
- While secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers has decreased substantially during the past 20 years, millions of nonsmokers continue to be exposed.
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