Half of U.S. Smoke Free

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that by 2020 or sooner, the entire nation could have laws banning smoking in all indoor areas of private sector work sites, restaurants and bars. These places are major sources of secondhand smoke exposure.

The projection is based on the rate at which states have been adopting comprehensive smoke-free laws. In just the past ten years, 25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these laws, the CDC report stated.

The study, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, lists the smoke-free status of every State and the District of Columbia. In addition to listing the states with comprehensive smoke-free laws and the years they went into effect, the report also lists the states that have laws prohibiting smoking in one or two—but not all three—of the venues. Currently, 25 states do not have a comprehensive smoke-free law, including Florida, which is smoke-free in two locations: work sites and restaurants; but not bars.

It also identifies eight states that have less restrictive laws, such as those allowing smoking in designated areas or areas with separate ventilation. And the study details the seven remaining states that have no statewide smoking restrictions in place: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

“Eliminating smoking from work sites, 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 health care costs associated with secondhand smoke,” says CDC director Thomas Frieden, M.D. “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.”

Despite increased adoption of state and local smoke-free laws, approximately 88 million nonsmoking Americans aged 3 and older are still exposed to secondhand smoke each year. The 2010 Surgeon General’s Report makes it clear that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke—including secondhand smoke.

“Completely prohibiting smoking in all public places and workplaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure,” says Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., Director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

A study published in the American Health Foundation and Academic Press issue of 2001, has shown that acupuncture does have a positive effect on the cessation of smoking. The results were that the test group “showed a maintained reduction in smoking”, while “no lasting effect was seen” for the control group. It confirmed that “acupuncture treatment may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking, or even quit smoking completely”. Acupuncture treatments are an integral part of making half of the U.S. smoke free.

For more information about acupuncture treatments and how to quit smoking, call the Acupuncture and Massage College at (305) 595-9500.



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