How Will Smoking Bans Reduce Second-Hand Smoke?

Throughout the past couple of years, local and state wide smoking bans have been making their way across the United States, hoping to establish healthier living conditions.

Smoking bans are aimed at reducing a non-smokers’ exposure to the harmful toxins found in cigarettes. The American Cancer Society reported that an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,400 deaths from lung cancer occur every year to non-smokers.

Cigarettes can be attributed to nearly 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths.

Related Companies, a real estate company based in New York, recently announced that tenants can no longer smoke in their apartments, including private terraces and balconies. This new policy will be applied to all new leases or lease renewals, but excludes current leases. Related Companies currently owns over 40,000 rental units, according to a New York Times article.

In May 2013, Starbucks decided to enforce a smoking ban of up to 25 feet to its 7,000 company-owned cafes within the U.S and Canada. This new ban also applies to the 4,000 other locations – including retailers such as Target and Barnes & Noble – according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Times reported that Washington D.C might establish a smoking ban in all national park in the near future, including the National Mall and nature trails. Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton is leading this ban and calling on the National Park Service to help make it happen.

The United States has yet to establish any nationwide federal smoking ban. All smoking bans are entirely the product of state and local laws. California was the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995. The mid-2000s saw an increasing number of statewide smoking bans, North Dakota being the most recent.

As of June 2013, 28 states have a statewide smoking ban, six have a statewide smoking ban that excludes adult-only venues, six an unique statewide ban and ten have no general statewide ban.

The increased risk of developing lung cancer can raise healthcare costs and life insurance premiums significantly. Non-smokers should avoid cigarette smoke as much as possible to reduce their risk of developing cigarette-related health conditions.

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