., and Puerto Rico in enacting smoke-free laws that covers restaurants and bars. The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina (effective Jan. 2, 2010), Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin (effective July 5, 2010). South Dakota has also enacted such a law, but it is on hold pending a voter referendum in November 2010.
A growing number of countries have also passed strong smoke-free laws, including Bhutan, Chad, Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Turkey, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Zambia. All Canadian provinces/territories and Australian states/territories have also enacted such laws.
Background on Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Laws
The need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places has never been clearer. In issuing a groundbreaking report on secondhand smoke in June 2006, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona stated, "The debate is over. The science is clear: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and nonsmoking adults." Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon General also found that secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year, there is no safe level of exposure, and only smoke-free laws provide effective protection from secondhand smoke. A report released earlier this year by the
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|SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids|
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