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News Summary

Smoking ban: Bars among target of smoking-ban effort

Publication Date: 2010-02-15
  • Author:Fernando Quintero
  • Publication:Orlando Sentinel

Now, a new study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a growing number of states are allowing local communities to pass smoke-free laws that are stricter than state law. If that trend continues, Florida may soon join other states where smoking is outlawed in all public places and businesses - including bars.

"It would kill off the bar business. End of story," predicted Jordan.

Currently, Florida is among 12 states that still have laws in place that block communities from passing more stringent smoke-free laws than state statutes. This practice is known as preemption. The CDC study found that from 2004 to 2009, the number of states with provisions preempting local smoke-free restrictions in at least one of three settings - government and private worksites, and restaurants - decreased from 19 to 12.

Meanwhile, the number of states with preemptive provisions in their smoke-free laws for all settings decreased from 15 to 8.

"The tide is turning toward allowing smoke-free legislation at the local level," said Nikole Souder-Schale, southeastern regional vice president for advocacy for the American Heart Association. "You have more local elected officials who are interested in having stronger smoke-free laws for their communities."

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