The report states that at the end of 2000, only one of these 50 cities had these types of laws, and by October 5, 2012, 16 were protected with local comprehensive smoking laws, while 14 had state comprehensive laws.
A study published in August of this year said that although smoking rates have dropped, other types of tobacco usage has increased.
In 2000, only about 3% of American were covered by smoke-free laws, now, almost 50% of Americans live smoke-free because of these local and state laws. Previous studies have revealed that smoke-free laws dramatically help lower exposure to secondhand smoke and improve health among the public. For example, the laws have helped reduce heart attack rates. For the first time since 2012, last week, the people of North Dakota voted to approve a comprehensive smoke-free law statewide.
CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, commented:
"Communities have made tremendous progress eliminating smoking from worksites and public places in 60 percent of big cities in the United State. Smoke-free laws save lives and don't hurt business. If we can protect workers and the public in the remaining 20 largest cities, 16 million people would be better protected from cancer and heart disease caused by secondhand smoke."
The recent trial, tittled "Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws - 50 Largest U.S. Cities, 2000 and 2012" was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report this week and stated that out of the 20 cities that do not have comprehensive smoke-free laws, 10 are southern cities. Also, 10 of the 20 cities that do not currently have the laws are found in states that do not allow smoking bans to be considered more important than any other law.
Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, added:
"Hundreds of cities and countries have passed their own smoke-free laws, including many communities in the south. If we continue to progress as we have since 2000, all Americans could be protected from secondhand smoke exposure in workplaces and public places by 2020."
The 2006 Surgeon General's Report notes that secondhand smoke is always dangerous; it results in the development of heart disease and lung cancer in people who don't even smoke themselves. In addition, secondhand smoke can cause SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), asthma, ear infections, and respiratory problems in babies and children.
Cigarette smoke kills around 443,000 Americans every year, 46,000 from heart disease and 3,400 by lung cancer in people who do not smoke, solely due to secondhand smoke exposure.