Secondhand smoke has adverse effects on nonsmokers, specifically in the development of serious diseases and even premature death. Every year, over 480,000 deaths are reportedly caused by cigarette smoking. To help circumvent this, an increasing number of states in the US have created smoke-free air laws to protect people from secondhand smoke.
As of June 30, 2022, there are 28 states that have enacted smoke-free indoor air laws. Some of these states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
Louisiana, in particular, has a comprehensive smoke-free law. Amid a slew of controversial new bans like the HB813, which was passed by the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee to have abortion grounds for homicide charges, Louisiana has also implemented a ban that prohibits smoking in restaurants and workplaces. Notably, public spaces like bars and casinos are excluded in the ban. It was only in 2015 when New Orleans, the largest city in the US, barred cigarette smoking in casinos. After the adoption of the New Orleans law, 11% of Louisiana residents were now protected by smoke-free policies.
Smokefree Laws To Regulate Cigarettes And Beyond
Of course, certain smoke-free laws don’t only aim to eliminate tobacco cigarette use. There are numerous states that have passed bills to minimize vaping as well.
A Pew Trusts article reported that public health researchers found vaping, seen in the likes of JUUL e-cigarettes, to be the greatest boon to smoking cessation. This is why local governments in Los Angeles County, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have enacted a permanent flavor ban on vaping products. Meanwhile lawmakers in sixteen states including Florida, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. are considering flavored vaping legislation.
Explicit bans aren’t the only undertaking that seeks to reduce secondhand smoke. Massachusetts has attempted to discourage vaping by passing a 75% tax on e-cigarettes. Vermont also added a 92% tax on wholesale vaping products, while Minnesota’s retail tax currently stands at 95%.
Marcus Plescia, the chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, recommended that states should pass a full range of vaping restrictions. Tax hikes, flavor bans, and vaping restrictions on indoor and outdoor nonsmoking areas are absolutely non-negotiables in a smoke-free law.
Plescia finished with, “State officials are very interested and engaged on the issue. They’re ready to act.” One official is New York state representative Linda Rosenthal, who expressed a keen interest in nicotine alternatives as a means to curb smoking.
What Smokefree Laws Mean For Smokers
It is evident that cigarettes and vape products have become progressively regulated. This has led smokers to encounter difficulties in cigarette smoking, and as such, has increased demand for relevant replacements. Fortunately, in recent years, there has been a rise of nicotine alternatives.
While products such as nicotine patches and nicotine pouches are mainly marketed as possible smoking cessation aids, they are also quite effective in that smokers can use them in indoor and outdoor areas. The Zyn nicotine pouches at Prilla demonstrate that, unlike conventional cigarettes, these products are small and discreet. They neither produce foul smelling odor nor generate smoke. As such, these are ideal to use in public areas such as bars, restaurants, hotels, and parks.
Another alternative that is as inconspicuous as it is effective is a nicotine patch. Nicotine patches are applied on the skin and can be worn for up to 24 hours. These provide a steady dose of nicotine throughout the day, which means smokers don’t have to worry about reapplication. As seen in NicoDerm CQ patches, these products come in three different strengths, so users can choose a variant that corresponds to their cigarette intake or nicotine dependency.
As a 2021 worldwide report on global nicotine trends illustrated, nicotine patches made up nearly 20% (or $2.5 billion) of the total retail market for smoking cessation products. As for nicotine pouches, they were valued at $1.2 billion. These figures clearly indicate that nicotine alternatives have been widely used by smokers. By leveraging those products, smokers are given the opportunity to more diligently follow statewide smoking bans. And hopefully, the threats of secondhand smoke can be reduced.
To date, smoke-free laws still have a ways to go before being fully adopted nationwide. However, with the continued support of lawmakers and the increasingly health-conscious general public, a smoke-free future is not impossible.
For more lifestyle news, do read through our latest posts at Bulletin XP.