CDC: Smoke-Free Laws Now Blanket 50 Percent of Americans



The City of Boise is now in its 11th month of being smoke-free in taverns, private clubs and parks. But the City of Trees is far from going solo in butting out.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that out of the 50 largest cities in America, 30 are now protected by smoke-free laws: 16 are protected with local comprehensive smoking laws, while 14 have state comprehensive laws.

In 2000, only about 3 percent of Americans were covered by smoke-free laws.

"Smoke-free laws save lives and don't hurt business," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. "If we can protect workers and the public in the remaining 20 largest cities, 16 million people would be better protected from cancer and heart disease caused by secondhand smoke."

While Boise's smoking ban is barely a blip on the cultural radar, it was less than a year ago when it was the talk of the town. Here's a sampling of what we heard back in January:

"I'll probably lose 25 percent of my business," said Lynn Howell, owner of 10th Street Station.

"I get a smoke hangover from working here," said Matt Thompson, a bartender at Neurolux.

"It's infringing on my rights," said Jared Maylin, patron at Liquid. "It's like french fries and ketchup. Smoking and drinking go hand in hand."

"I think smokers in general are going to be pissed off about it," said Cameron Smith, bartender at The Balcony.

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