StateStats: Smoke-Free Laws Lift Clouds: June 2011
Secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer in adults who have never smoked and respiratory diseases, asthma complications and slow lung growth in children.
There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, according to 2006 and 2010 reports by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air or ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smoke-free policies have brought about an immediate, significant average decline of up to 17 percent in hospital admissions for heart attacks. Although some lawmakers have voiced concerns over the effect these laws might have on private businesses, numerous studies of restaurant and bar revenues, tax receipts, and customer satisfaction have shown that smoke-free laws do not hurt restaurant and bar businesses.
Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Wisconsin are the most recent to join the 26 states with smoke-free laws covering all worksites, restaurants and bars. Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming do not have any statewide smoke-free laws for those venues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.