The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recently hailed the “half-way point in a remarkable journey” as more than 25 states now have laws prohibiting smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars. Ten states have laws prohibiting smoking in one or two of those categories. Many cities and counties have their own laws. The CDC is pushing more state and local governments to enact total workplace smoking bans.
The CDC says secondhand smoke causes 46,000 heart attacks and 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year. In 2006, the Surgeon General concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that eliminating smoking from all indoor areas is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke exposure. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings are not effective ways to protect the public from secondhand smoke exposure, says the CDC.
According to CDC's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System, the states with smoke-free workplaces, restaurants and bars are:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota (effective November 10, 2010)
Find a chart of all state workplace smoking laws, published in April 2011 by the CDC, at: