Smoking Bans May Spread to All 50 States by 2020
ATLANTA -- By 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and the workplace, federal health officials predicted Thursday, based on the current pace of adopting anti-smoking laws, according to the Associated Press.
The number of states with comprehensive indoor smoking bans went from zero in 2000 to 25 in 2010. The director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health called the success of the smoking ban movement "astounding" and that it seems to be accelerating.
Nearly half of U.S. residents are covered by comprehensive state or local indoor smoking bans, the CDC estimated, in a new report.
Another 10 states have laws that ban smoking in workplaces, bars or restaurants, but not in all three venues.
Some other states have less restrictive laws, like requiring smoking areas with separate ventilation.
Only seven states have no indoor smoking restrictions, although some of their cities do: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Gary Nolan, director of a smokers' rights group, said he wouldn't be surprised if the CDC's prediction came true. "It wouldn't surprise me if they prevailed," said Nolan, of the Smoker's Club. "It's just a little bit more liberty slipping away at the hands of big government."