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U.S. Smoking Restrictions Increasing, CDC Report Reveals

More state laws are protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke at work and in restaurants

MONDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2004, state laws regulating smoking in private-sector worksites, restaurants and bars have significantly increased in number and in the level of restrictiveness, according to a report published in the May 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Allison MacNeil, of the Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, and colleagues reviewed smoking restrictions in private-sector worksites, restaurants and bars in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as of Dec. 31, 2004, and as of Dec. 31, 2007, and categorized them into four levels: no restrictions; designated smoking areas required or allowed; no smoking allowed or designated smoking areas allowed if separately ventilated; and no smoking allowed.

During the study period, the researchers found that restrictions became more protective for private-sector worksites in 18 states, for restaurants in 18 states and for bars in 12 states, and that no states relaxed their smoking restrictions in any of these settings. They also found the number of states requiring private-sector worksites to be smoke-free increased from five to 22.

"The trends in the adoption of state smoking restrictions described in this report suggest that the national health objective of establishing laws making indoor public places and worksites smoke-free in all states by the year 2010 might be achievable," the authors state.

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