|CDC predicts smoking ban in U.S. by 2020|
|Written by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Wednesday, 27 April 2011 22:31|
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last Thursday, April 21, if the rate of states banning smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants continues, all states will be smoke-free by 2020.
Currently, there are 26 states with bans on indoor smoking. That number was zero in 2000.
Another 10 states have laws that ban smoking in workplaces, bars or restaurants, but not in all three, USA TODAY stated.
Mark Temple, associate professor of health sciences, explained the prediction may be too short of time for all states to change laws.
“To me, it seems quick to have a ban on smoking in all states in nine years. I know in the south, there are states with no smoking regulations still,” Temple said.
States with no restrictions on indoor smoking include Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Temple said while banning smoking will have a positive, long term impact, the real focus should be prevention.
“We need to fund programs we know work and start early with young people so they never smoke. I can’t tell you how many people I know who have tried to quit smoking and can’t,” Temple said.
“For them, it’s a disposition and attitude issue. They know smoking is bad for them and that’s why we need to start early education and prevention,” he added.
However, Temple said by limiting where people will be able to smoke might still have an effect on the amount of tobacco products consumed.
Jim Almeda, health educator, said it is a matter of time before all states adopt some type of smoking ban.
“That seems to be the direction it is moving and more people are supportive of reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces, restaurants and others,” Almeda said.
There is an effect of smoking bans on reducing the number of people who smoke, which ultimately should reduce the rates of lung cancer and other diseases related to smoking and secondhand smoke, Almeda explained.
“I think as people have become more health conscious and aware of the negative impact of tobacco on health, they are more supportive of smoking bans,” he said.
“Anything that decreases smoking rates and secondhand smoke exposure will likely result in a decrease in some of the diseases associated with smoking...it may take a number of years for scientific proof of the efficacy of smoking bans in preventing illness, but it’s hard to imagine that the data will show otherwise,” Dr. Jean Swearingen, director of Student Health Services, said.