While Americans are inhaling less secondhand smoke overall, 16 states in the U.S. still permit smoking statewide in both bars and restaurants.
That is according to a tobacco law database compiled by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, which shows that 30 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have statewide laws in effect that require both bars and restaurants to be 100% smoke-free.
Being smoke-free is defined as prohibiting smoking inside those establishments, but states may also ban smoking in outdoor areas, which isn’t included in this definition.
Of the 20 states highlighted on the map, Idaho, Louisiana, Florida and Indiana have laws that make restaurants 100% smoke-free, but still allow smoking in bars.
Additionally, some states have county or municipal laws rather than, or in addition to, statewide bans.
“Generally there’s much more progress on this issue at the local level,” said Benson Frick, associate director of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.
Combined, local and state laws protect 65.2% of the U.S. population from public smoke, the non-profit lobbying group found.Read the Full Article