CDC Predicts Smoking Bans In Every State By 2020

ATLANTA (AP) – By 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and the workplace, federal health officials predicted Thursday, based on the current pace of adopting anti-smoking laws.

The number of states with comprehensive indoor smoking bans went from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010.

“It is by no means a foregone conclusion that we’ll get there by 2020,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

But the success of the smoking ban movement has been astounding, and seems to be accelerating, he added. “I’m relatively bullish we’ll at least get close to that number.”

Nearly half of U.S. residents are covered by comprehensive state or local indoor smoking bans, the CDC estimated, in a new report.

Another 10 states have laws than ban smoking in workplaces, bans or restaurants, but not in all three venues.

Some other states have less restrictive laws, like requiring smoking areas with separate ventilation.

Only seven states have no indoor smoking restrictions, although some of their cities do: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Gary Nolan, director of a smokers’ rights group, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the CDC’s prediction came true. Public health officials and others have been putting tremendous pressure on bars and businesses to bar smoking, he added.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if they prevailed,” said Nolan, of the Smoker’s Club. “It’s just a little bit more liberty slipping away at the hands of big government.”

Tobacco smoke is an established cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other maladies, and smoking has been called one of the nation’s leading causes of death.

The science on the impact of smoking bans is younger. Because it takes years or even decades for cancers to develop, there’s little information on the impact of bans on cancer rates. But studies have already charted declines in adult heart attack rates and in childhood asthma attacks after smoking bans were adopted in some communities.

The American Heart Association’s chief executive, Nancy Brown, said the CDC report brings good news. But she said advocates have a lot of work ahead of them to make the 2020 prediction come true.

“It’s too soon to rest on our laurels,” she said, in a prepared statement.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Rick McDaniel says:

    The big problem right now, is smoking in cars……because without ash trays in cars anymore, the smokers throw their lit cigarette butts, out the window of the car, and start numerous roadside wildfires.

    In the metro areas, that is a big problem, but even worse, are the rural areas, where a fire can get big, before anyone discovers it is burning.

    Smokers are responsible for millions in damage, from wildfires.

  2. Harleyrider Davidson says:

    New Study of National Heart Attack Admissions and Mortality Finds No Evidence of a Short-Term Effect of Smoking Bans

    Most Definitive Study to Date Refutes Conclusions of Many Earlier Studies and Demonstrates Why These Studies Obtained Positive Findings

    The paper concludes: “We find no evidence that legislated U.S. smoking bans were associated with short‐term reductions in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction or other diseases in the elderly, children or working‐age adults.” …

    “We also show that there is wide year‐to‐year variation in myocardial infarction death and admission rates even in large regions such as counties and hospital catchment areas. Comparisons of small samples (which represent subsamples of our data and are similar to the samples used in the previous published literature) might have led to atypical findings. It is also possible that comparisons showing increases in cardiovascular events after a smoking ban were not submitted for publication because the results were considered implausible. Hence, the true distribution from single regions would include both increases and decreases in events and a mean close to zero, while the published record would show only decreases in events. Thus, publication bias could plausibly explain why dramatic short‐term public health improvements were seen in prior studies of smoking bans.”

  3. Ryan Barrows says:

    it’s about time….. Hated sitting down and to eat or what not and the place be filled with smoke..

  4. NiteNurse says:

    I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and I am pleased with the efforts this country has made to reduce the ease of smoking in this country. I use to hate to go to public areas where smokers were given free reign with their unhealthy habit. I hope we keep up the efforts to the point no one smokes.

  5. Thomas Laprade says:

    An alternative to smoking bans

    If the public was honestly and truthfully informed about the effects of second-hand smoke, there would be fewer no-smoking laws in this country.
    A little smoke from a handful of crushed leaves and some paper that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is going to harm or kill you?

    There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and filtration systems kills or harms anyone.

    As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern ventilation technology.

    Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious contaminants that are independent from smoking.

    Thomas Laprade
    Thunder Bay, Ont.
    Ph. 807 345-7258

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