Southern States Buck National Trend with Smoking Bans

[tweetmeme] Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure causes lung cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in nonsmoking adults and children, resulting in an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmoking adults each year, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Perhaps as a direct result of this startling statistic the study concludes that  if smoking-ban laws in the U.S. keep up at the rate they have been going for the past 10 years, the entire nation will have heavy restrictions on smoking by 2020—or sooner.

More than half of all states have laws against smoking in places that are major sources of secondhand smoke, like indoor areas of private sector worksites, restaurants and bars. In just the past 10 years, 25 states have jumped on the non-smoking bandwagon.  However it is interesting to note that all of the southern states lack statewide laws that prohibit smoking in worksites, restaurants, and bars. However, many communities in these states have adopted comprehensive local smoke-free laws. 

President Barack Obama signed the nation’s strongest-ever Federal anti-smoking bill in 2009 and praised it for providing critically needed protections for future generations.  Of course his own struggles to quit smoking have been well documented.  In 2010, a surgeon general’s report reported that no level of exposure to tobacco smoke is safe, and can lead to organ damage. It can also negatively affect your DNA

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