ATLANTA — By 2020 or sooner, the entire nation could have laws banning smoking in all indoor areas of private sector worksites, restaurants and bars, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday has found.
The projection is based on the rate at which states have been adopting comprehensive smoke-free laws. In just the past 10 years, 25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these laws, the CDC reported.
The study, published in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, listed the smoke-free status of every state and the District of Columbia. In addition to listing the states with comprehensive smoke-free laws and years they went into effect, the report also listed the 10 states that have laws prohibiting smoking in one or two — but not all three — of the venues included in the study.
It also identified eight states that have less restrictive laws, such as those allowing smoking in designated areas or areas with separate ventilation. And the study detailed the seven states that have no statewide smoking restrictions in place for private worksites, restaurants or bars: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
"Eliminating smoking from worksites, restaurants and bars is a low-cost, high-impact strategy that will protect nonsmokers and allow them to live healthier, longer, more productive lives while lowering healthcare costs associated with secondhand smoke," CDC director Thomas Frieden said. "While there has been a lot of progress over the past decade, far too many Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplaces, increasing their risk of cancer and heart attacks."
For a list of states and the types of smoke-free laws in each, view the full report at CDC.gov/mmwr.