Policies and Attitudes about Secondhand Smoke - Brief Article

Author: Elaine Kierl Gangel
Date: March 15, 2002

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System that showed that state-specific (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) smoking rates among adults ranged from 12.9 percent to 30.5 percent. The data also indicated high levels of public support for policies regarding smoking restrictions in many settings. This support existed among smokers and nonsmokers. The report summarizing this data was published in the December 14, 2001 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The 12 states with the highest rates of smoking were: Kentucky, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arkansas, and Alaska. The 12 areas with the lowest smoking rates were Utah, Puerto Rico, California, Arizona, Montana, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado, Maryland, and Washington.

Exposure to secondhand smoke can be reduced by limiting smoking in public places. This report indicates that smokers and nonsmokers supported smoking bans, and both groups almost universally supported bans in schools and day care centers. Strong support was also indicated for smoking bans in indoor work areas and restaurants.

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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