205993 Exemptions in state smoke-free air laws: Common gaps that exist in comprehensive legislation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Michael A. Tynan , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Stephen Babb, MPH , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Allison MacNeil, MPH , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Secondhand smoke exposure causes 46,000 heart attacks and 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year. Smoke-free indoor air laws that ban smoking in all indoor areas protect non-smokers from the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke. In the last decade, state smoke-free air laws that ban smoking in all indoor areas have become more prevalent in the United States. States are increasingly enacting comprehensive legislation that prohibits smoking in most public places and worksites. However, even the most comprehensive state smoke-free laws typically exempt some locations.

No online legislative tracking system fully details the extent of exemptions in state smoking laws. Becoming familiar with common exemptions is helpful to understand their potential impact on the process of implementing a law and on the level of public health protection that a law provides.

Using the Centers for Disease Control's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System, this presentation will provide an overview of the current status of state smoke-free air laws. After analyzing state smoking laws downloaded from Lexis-Nexis, the presentation will examine the types and prevalence of exemptions in states with comprehensive smoke-free laws.

Preliminary results show that while some locations that are exempted from the law are unique to a state's circumstances, such as brothels in Nevada or tractors in Iowa, certain settings are often exempted regardless of the state. These settings include: very small businesses, hotel rooms, private clubs, long-term care facilities, tobacco manufacturing facilities, tobacco retail shops, cigar bars, hookah bars, race tracks, casinos, and age-restricted venues.

Learning Objectives:
-identify the types of locations that are commonly exempted from state smoke-free laws -understand the impact that exemptions can have on the level of public health protection provided by a law -be able to explain why comprehensive smoke-free laws with minimal exemptions are the easiest to implement and provide the greatest public health protections

Keywords: Tobacco Legislation, Public Health Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michael Tynan is a public health analyst in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking of Health. He is the office’s strategic coordinator for secondhand smoke activities. He is experienced in conducting complex research and analysis of state and local tobacco control laws, with a specific focus on smoke-free air and preemption laws. Recent Publications and Presentations include: Tynan M. State Smoking Prohibitions in Public Places. Oral Presentation at the National Environmental Health Association. 2009, Atlanta, GA. Tynan M, Babb S, MacNeil A. State Smoking Restrictions for Private-Sector Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars --- United States, 2004 and 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008; 57(20);549-552. O’Connor JC, MacNeil A, Chriqui JF, Tynan M, Bates H, Eidson SKS. Preemption of local smoke-free air ordinances: the implications of judicial opinions for meeting national health objectives. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2008;36(2):403–12. Tynan M, Eidson SKS, O'Connor JC, elArculli R. Smoke-free air in state correctional facilities: What is the law? Oral Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association 2007, Washington, D.C.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.