No smoking in public places laws
Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure causes lung cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in nonsmoking adults and children, resulting in an estimated 46, 000 heart disease deaths and 3, 400 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmoking adults each year (). Smoke-free laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas of a venue fully protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to SHS indoors (). A Healthy People 2010 objective (27-13) called for enacting laws eliminating smoking in public places and worksites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC); because this objective was not met by 2010, it was retained for Healthy People 2020 (renumbered as TU-13). To assess progress toward meeting this objective, CDC reviewed state laws restricting smoking in effect as of December 31, 2010. This report summarizes the changes in state smoking restrictions for private-sector worksites, restaurants, and bars that occurred from December 31, 2000 to December 31, 2010. The number of states (including DC) with laws that prohibit smoking in indoor areas of worksites, restaurants, and bars increased from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010. However, regional disparities remain in policy adoption, with no southern state having adopted a smoke-free law that prohibits smoking in all three venues. The target on this topic is achievable if current activity in smoke-free policy adoption is sustained nationally and intensified in certain regions, particularly the South.
This report focuses on laws that completely prohibit smoking in private-sector worksites, restaurants, and bars. These three venues were selected because they are a major source of SHS exposure for nonsmoking employees and the public (). CDC considers a state smoke-free law to be comprehensive if it prohibits smoking in these three venues. Some states have enacted laws with less stringent smoking restrictions (e.g., provisions restricting smoking to designated areas or to separately ventilated areas); however, these laws are not effective in eliminating SHS exposure. The Surgeon General has concluded that the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from SHS exposure is to prohibit smoking in all indoor areas, and that separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate SHS exposure ().