Bans on Workplace Smoking Lighting Up in All but South

By 2020, work sites could be smoke-free throughout most of the country except in the South.
According to a report from, that's the prediction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By last year, according to a report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, the number of states with comprehensive smoking bans was 26, up from none a decade earlier. (WCxKit)
Delaware in 2002 became the first state to fully prohibit smoking in work sites, followed by New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington. The states embracing smoking bans most recently, in 2010, were Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
In 1994, eight years prior to Delaware's action, California enacted a broad smoking ban, but the CDC characterized it as being less comprehensive because it exempted employee smoking rooms, provided they were ventilated. While the CDC indicated that smoking bans will spread, Southern states show few signs of following the trend.
Not one of the states in the South has passed a comprehensive smoking ban, although some have restrictions. For example, Florida and Louisiana have smoke-free work sites, but smokers are can light up in bars. South Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi are Southern states with no restrictions on smoking whatsoever. Along with southern states, Wyoming and Indiana have no smoking restrictions.
With the number of state bans now in play,open-ended half of the U.S. population is protected from secondhand smoke, and the diseases it causes. (WCxKit)

According to the CDC, secondhand smoke is leads to an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year among non-smoking adults.


Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See for more information. or 860-553-6604.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information. or 860-553-6604.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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