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State Smoke-Free Laws

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It’s World No Tobacco Day and I can think of no better topic to talk about today than…tobacco!  Last month, the CDC released its summary of State Smoke-Free Laws for Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars- United States 200-2010 <> .  This report was pulled together to assess progress toward meeting the objective originally established for 2010 Healthy People (27-13) of enacting laws eliminating smoking in public places and worksites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC).  This particular objective was retained for 2020 (although renumbered to TU-13) because it was not met by 2010.

This report outlines the progression of implementation in smoke-free laws.  For example, the number of states (including DC) with laws that prohibit smoking in indoor areas of worksites, restaurants, and bars increased from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010.  But disparities remain, particularly when we look at regional differences.

Given how far we have come, I’m wondering what your experiences have been around implementing smoke-free policies?  Challenges faced?  Things others should consider when proposing new laws or changes to existing policies? 



Thanks for starting the

Thanks for starting the conversation on Tobacco Control.

In December 2010 and January 2011 (during National Non-Smoking Week), Echo: Improving Women's Health in Ontario (Echo), in partnership with Peterborough County-City Health Unit, The NorWest Community Health Centres, Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton and North Bay Indian Friendship Centre held four events with women of childbearing age (who were current smokers or who had recently quit smoking) in order to:

1)    Share and support reflection on best practice guidelines that support smoking cessation among pregnant women; and  
2)    Support women’s research-informed perspectives to shape a smoking cessation program model for pregnant and recently pregnant women which is suited to their communities.

For World No Tobacco Day , Echo is pleased to report that Peterborough PHU, and NBIFC are hosts to newly designed programs which were designed through engagement with community women (based on the data from the travelling conversations); and CAMH is revamping PREGNETS, an online provincial resource that helps pregnant women quit smoking and provides up to date information to health care providers.  Ontario Tobacco Research Unit is offering a participatory and realist evaluation in order to gain a clear understanding of what is working for each demonstration site.  Echo, Centre for Community-Based Research and Program Training and Consultation Centre are currently working together with the demonstration sites in order to spread the innovation of these three sites to other Ontario communities.

Read Echo Advances on – Designing a smoking cessation program for Pregnant and post-partum women in

Thunder Bay ( ,

North Bay,(



and/or read the summary of all regions:

Nadia- thanks for your post

Nadia- thanks for your post and for sharing your program with us!  I’d be interested to hear how things are going as you learn more about what works at each of your demonstration sites.  If you haven’t already done so, you may want to check out, a web site  developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) intended to help women quit smoking by providing information about topics that are often important and unique to them.

So let’s keep the conversation going! Am wondering if there are other folks out there who are currently working on programs targeting pregnant smokers? Or if anyone has any experiences they would like to share around state smoke free laws and addressing vulnerable populations, such as pregnant smokers?

Smoking is one of the

Smoking is one of the greatest preventable causes for cancer, when you quit smoking you live a longer, and healthier life. In a verdict released today, a Washington judge temporarily blocked brand new FDA-mandated cigarette caution labels. The ruling signifies that until a final constitutional verdict has been issued, cigarette manufacturers will not be required to put the visual images on packs of cigarettes. I have read that tobacco warning labels may unconstitutionally compel speech. Tobacco Control is a Public Health priority as tobacco is  a major factor for lung cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

The number of states

The number of states (including DC) with laws that prohibit smoking in indoor areas of work sites, restaurants, and bars increased from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010. But disparities remain, particularly when we look at regional differences.IAO

Thursday is World No Tobacco

Thursday is World No Tobacco Day so I thought I would take a minute to update Candace's post this week.  

The World Health Organization has named "tobacco industry interference" as the theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day.  The "Twitterverse" is abuzz with a creative campaign in favor of California Proposition 29, the Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research Act.  Prop 29 is on the June 5, 2012 presidential primary ballot in California.

If Proposition 29 is approved by California's voters, the tax on cigarettes in the state will increase by $1.00 per pack. California’s current cigarette tax is 87 cents per pack. The total tax per pack of cigarettes, if Proposition 29 passes, will be $1.87/pack. The additional tax revenue will be used to fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement.

In support of this campaign, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association have launched a major advertising campaign.  I have embedded my personal favorite video below, but the complete campaign can be viewed on:

Bringing strategic partners to the table is essential for any program's success and sustainability.  Does anyone have any stories about how your research or program partners played a role in strengthening anti-tobacco initiatives?

I was intrigued by an article

I was intrigued by an article in this month's issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.  In it, the authors  seem to debunk the claim that local smoking bans have a negative impact on businesses.

A 1993 Missouri state law allows smoking in designated areas in indoor public places such as restaurants and bars. Consequently, some Missouri communities have adopted local ordinances that prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Researchers studied these local communities and examined the taxable sales revenues of bars and restaurants to gage the economic effect of smoke-free ordinances.

Their findings?  Smoke-free ordinances were associated with increased revenue in 8 of the 11 cities assessed. The authors conclude that their study provides more evidence to local and state policy makers that the fear of harmful economic effects from passing and implementing smoke-free policies is unfounded.

The authors end their piece with the hope that "the finding of this study provides evidence for garnering support from the general public and legislators by allaying fears that smoke-free ordinances harm business."

Are studies like this enough to help local communities implement anti-tobacco policies? What else is needed? What have your experiences been?

Citation:  Kayani N, Cowan SR, Homan SG, Wilson J, Warren VF, Yun S. Economic Effect of Smoke-Free Ordinances on 11 Missouri Cities. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110277. DOI: Web Site Icon.


More on the economic impact

More on the economic impact of tobacco policy interventions....

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a study to estimate the overall impact on the federal budget of a policy intervention to improve health. It looked at a variety of economic impacts and in the end, suggests that increasing the excise tax on cigarettes would reduce federal budget deficits by a total of about $42 billion through 2021.

Do studies like the Missouri study and the CBO analysis have an impact on local cancer control initiatives? Can you leverage the growing economic evidence around cancer control? What else is needed?

Kentucky has done a lot of

Kentucky has done a lot of work with local and statewide smoke-free and there are some great resources from an organization that I work with very closely at the University, the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy.  Click here for a link to their web page and resources. 

They have also found no negative impact on businesses in local communities who adopt smoke-free.  I hope this is a helpful resource for folks!




I was on a call earlier today

I was on a call earlier today with colleagues from the Surveillance Research Program and they are on the brink of unveiling a great tool that might be of interest to those working to implement tobacco policies in their states: NCI Tobacco Policy Viewer

Screenshot of NCI Tobacco Policy Viewer
NCI Tobacco Policy Viewer:

  • Let the tool animate over 5 year increments or manually select the display year in the time slider control.
  • Use controls in the legend to switch between viewing laws pertaining to smoking within Bars, Restaurants, or Workplaces.
  • Show and hide the two layers of information; State smoking laws, or County and City smoking laws.
  • Click on features to view information about currently displayed State, County, or City laws.
  • Pan and zoom the dynamic webmap to investigate specific areas of the country.


The NCI Tobacco Policy Viewer provides access to the following statistics at State, County, or City level:

  • Laws requiring 100% smoke-free non-hospitality workplaces, including both public and private non-hospitality workplaces, including, but not limited to, offices, factories, and retail stores.
  • Laws requiring 100% smoke-free restaurants, including any attached bar in the restaurant.
  • Laws requiring 100% smoke-free freestanding bars.

The datasets presented in the tool are available for download here:

I am excited about the possibilities of this tool and hope you will be as well.  Stay tuned for more information and a robust roll-out from NCI!  But in the meantime, do tools like this help you in your work to strengthen and implement tobacco control policies?