Smoking has never been as controversial as it is today. As more non-smokers become concerned with the health risks of tobacco use, the more state and local laws are written to ban smoking. California was the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995. Since then, smoking bans have become increasingly common, not just in bars and restaurants, but even on public sidewalks, in public parks, on college campuses and even in some public housing units. It is common to see “please no smoking signs” posted in breeze ways, in offices, eateries, apartment hallways and more. As of July 2016, 82% of the United States population lives under a smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars by either state, local or commonwealth law, according to Wikipedia. Similarly, 58.6% live under a ban covering ALL workplaces, restaurants and bars. Many would argue that banning smoking inside of restaurants and on school grounds is acceptable, but threatening apartment and public housing residents with eviction for smoking inside their homes has caused debate.
Smoking Bans In Public Housing & Apartment Buildings
As non-smokers become increasingly concerned with second hand smoke, smokers continue to be pushed out of businesses, from sidewalks and entryways, and more recently, their homes. In 2006 the Surgeon General stated that separating smokers and non-smokers in public places was not enough, and that “cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to do it is by banning indoor smoking altogether.” HUD secretary, Julian Castro announced in November 2016 that public housing developments in the United States will be required to provide a smoke-free environment to residents. This smoking rule includes indoor and outdoor areas of housing units; smoking will no longer be permitted within 25 feet of the building or office. Residents can be fined or even evicted upon violation of the no-smoking rule, which has sparked debate over civil liberties at one of New York’s largest public housing facilities, Queensbridge Houses.
No Smoking In Public Areas
As public demand increases for clean air, smoking bans have been put in place for many public areas including sidewalks, outdoor patios, bus stops, county fairs, parks and recreation areas. Just this month, for example, Laguna Beach, California banned smoking and vaping in all outdoor areas. The only place left in this particular town for smokers to light up is within their car or home. To see a list of outdoor areas where smoking is banned or prohibited, visit no.smoking.org.
Smoking Banned On School Grounds
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, continues to enact bans on smoking, not just to protect nonsmokers from the inherent health risks of second hand smoke, but also to set an example to children and teens. This has prompted bans on smoking on school grounds, many college campuses, and in some cities, on school board grounds. The Sarasota County School Board just announced this month that it will do away with all designated smoking areas, and all tobacco products will be banned from school buses, district owned vehicles and any portion of a building owned or leased by the school board.
Tobacco Use Prohibited In Workplaces
Many industries not only prohibit smoking to protect or accommodate staff and visitors, but also to prioritize safety. Industries that handle explosive materials are often required by OSHA to warn about the dangers of smoking in the workplace by posting no smoking signs including signs that state “no smoking, shut off engines”.