One of the largest studies to date on the economic impact of smoke-free laws was recently published in the scientific journal Preventing Chronic Disease. The study provides powerful new evidence that such laws do not harm the restaurant and bar industry, even in states with high smoking rates and a history of tobacco growing and manufacturing.
The American Heart Association has long supported smoke-free laws because exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Every year, secondhand smoke is estimated to cause between 21,000 to 75,000 deaths from heart disease and 38,000-129,000 heart attacks. Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, in a home or workplace is associated with a 25 to 30 percent increased risk for coronary heart disease in adult nonsmokers. Even short-term exposure can increase the risk of heart attacks among non-smokers.
Given this compelling evidence there is simply no excuse for elected officials not to act. It is time for all states to pass comprehensive smoke-free laws to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke. To learn more about current efforts and to show your legislators that smoke-free issues are important to you, please visit our Take Action center to send your supportive message today and encourage others to send a message through Facebook.