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All US workplaces could be smoke-free by 2020, says CDC

Thu 21st April, 2011

By 2020 smoking could be banned in every office, restaurant and bar in the USA, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Eliminating smoking from worksites, restaurants and bars is a low-cost, high-impact strategy that will protect nonsmokers and allow them to live healthier, longer, more productive lives," the CDC director, Dr Thomas R. Frieden, said.

"While there has been a lot of progress over the past decade, far too many Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplaces, increasing their risk of cancer and heart attacks," he said.

"By 2020 or sooner, the entire nation could have laws banning smoking in all indoor areas of private sector worksites, restaurants and bars," the CDC said. "These places are major sources of secondhand smoke exposure."

Half of the states in the US ban smoking in offices, restaurants and bars. Another 10 states have laws that prohibit smoking in one or two of these areas but not in all three.

Eight states have less restrictive laws, such as those that allow smoking in designated areas in workplaces, restaurants and bars, or have separate, well-ventilated areas for the purpose.

Finally, there are seven states that have no legal restrictions on tobacco use that are applicable statewide for private-sector workplaces, restaurants and bars - Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Source: Fox News (April 21, 2011)

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