Everyone has the right to breathe smokefree indoor air

Get the Facts


Everyone has the right to breathe smokefree indoor air


Secondhand smoke is a public health hazard.

  • There is NO safe level of secondhand smoke. –Institute of Medicine, “Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence,” October 2009.
  • Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 69 of these chemicals including formaldehyde, arsenic, cyanide, and carbon monoxide, are known to cause cancer.–National Cancer Institute. “Risks associated with Smoking Cigarette with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine.” October 2001.
  • Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  For every eight smokers the tobacco industry kills, it takes one non-smoker with them. — Glantz, S.A. Parmely, W., "Passive Smoking and Heart Disease: Epidemiology, Physiology, and Biochemistry," Circulation, 1991; 83(1):1-12; and, Taylor, A., Johnson, D, & Kazemi, H. "Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Cardiovascular Disease," Circulation, 1992; 86:699-702.
  • 53,800 nonsmokers die every year from secondhand smoke in the United States- 48,500 of these are from heart disease 3,000 are from lung cancer. -1997 CA EPA Report.
  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30 percent and lung cancer by 20-30 percent. -The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A report of the Surgeon General, June 27, 2006.


No one should have to choose between a job and good health.

  • Workers in smoke-filled 5 B's (bars, bowling alleys, billiard halls, betting establishments, and bingo parlors) breathe in carcinogen levels that are 47 times higher than the limit the federal government defines as unsafe indoor air quality.- Glantz S, Parmely W. “Even a little secondhand smoke is dangerous,” JAMA 286:462-463, 2001.
  • Food and Bar service workers have a 50% greater risk of dying from lung cancer than the general population, in part because of secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. – Shopland, D.R. ET all, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 46 (4): 347-356, April 2004.
  • The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the international standard-setting body for ventilation rates for acceptable indoor air quality, has determined that there are no ventilation or air cleaning technologies that can eliminate the health risks posed by secondhand smoke.-Position Document Approved by ASHRAE Board of Directors June 30, 2005.
  • Secondhand smoke levels in restaurants are approximately 160% to 200% higher than in office workplaces, and the levels are 400% to 600% higher in bars. - Siegel, 1993.
  • 78% of bartenders with prior sensory irritation symptoms (eye, nose, throat irritation) reported no symptoms approximately one month after California’s bars were required to go smokefree. 59% with prior respiratory symptoms (wheezing, cough, dyspnea, and phlegm production) reported no symptoms within a month after California’s bars were required to go smokefree. Pulmonary function also improved after smoking was prohibited in bars. - Eisner, et al. 1998.


Protect our Youth

  • 22% Wyoming high school students smoke (-Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked Wyoming as one of the worst in the nation for youth smoking.
  • Regulations restricting smoking in public places appear to have a considerable impact on teenage smoking behavior. In contrast to adults, regulations affect the teenager’s decision to become a smoker rather than the number of cigarettes smoked. -Wasserman, J., “the effects of excise taxes and regulations on cigarette smoking.” Journal of Health Economics 10:43-64 (1991).
  • The most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption at all age levels is the implementation of a smokefree regulation covering all indoor places of work including bars and restaurants. -Americans for Non-smokers’ Rights, Smokefree Air and Youth. June 2004.


Benefit of a Strong Smokefree Ordinance – Smoking Cessation

  • According to 2008 study conducted by the Wyoming Department of Health 27.8% of adults in Natrona County smoke, which is one of the highest percentages in the state and well above the national average.
  • A strong smoke-free community ordinance encourages employees to quit smoking whether or not they work in a smoking environment, which can benefit business owners and tax payers through significant health and lost productivity savings.
  • Smokers who work in communities with strong ordinances were 38% more likely to quit smoking than smokers in communities with no ordinance. – Moskowitz, Lin, Hudes. “The Impact of Workplace Smoking Ordinances in California on Smoking Cessation,” American Journal of Public Health, May 2000
  • Employees who worked in places that maintained or implemented smoke-free policies were nearly twice as likely to stop smoking as employees who worked in places that allowed smoking everywhere. – Bauer JE, Hyland A, Li Q, Steger C, Cummings KM. “A Longitudinal Assessment of the Impact of Smoke-Free Worksite Policies on Tobacco Use,” American Journal of Public Health 2005; 95(6):1024-9,March 2011.
  • Annual health care costs in Wyoming directly caused by smoking - $136 million; portion covered by the state Medicaid program - $37 million; breaks down to $580 per household – Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.


Good for Business

  • Smoke-free laws add value to establishments. Restaurants in smoke-free cities have a higher market value at resale (an average of 16% higher) than comparable restaurants located in smoke-filled cities. – Alamar, B. & Glantz S.A. “Smoke-free ordinances increase restaurant profit and value,” Contemporary Economic Policy 22(4), 5200-525, 2004.
  • Landlords and restaurants with smoke-free premises have negotiated lower fire and property insurance premiums. Fire insurance is commonly reduced 25-30% in smoke-free businesses. – “The dollars (and sense) benefits of having a smoke-free workplace,” Michigan Department of Community Health, May 13, 2004.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that construction and maintenance costs are 7% higher in buildings that allow smoking than in buildings that are smoke-free. – “The dollars (and sense) benefits of having a smoke-free workplace,” Michigan Department of Community Health, 2000.
  • Numerous economists and CEO’s have said it is not just economic incentives or tax breaks, but rather quality of life issues that draw businesses to a city. – Jones, David A. “Say ‘Yes’ to Smoking Ban: Metro Area Health Enterprises speak out,” Special to The Courier-Journal, May 26, 2004.
  • Numerous careful scientific and economic analyses show that smoke-free laws do not hurt restaurant and bar patronage, employment, sales, or profits. – Glantz, S. “Smoke-Free Restaurant Ordinances Do Not Affect Restaurant Business. Period,” Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 5:1, January 1999.
  • In Natrona County, WY if smoking were no longer allowed in bars and restaurants, 9 of 10 voters said they will go to bars and restaurants about the same amount (55%) or more often (35%). – Keating, C. “Natrona County, WY Smoke-free Live Telephone Poll,” May/June 2011.


Broad support exists for smokefree policies

  • A broad based, solid majority of voters across the political spectrum support smokefree policies in Natrona County.

  • A 2010 poll shows 2/3rds of voters (67%) support a comprehensive ordinance eliminating smoking indoors in public and work places in Natrona County.

  • The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association all support enactment of comprehensive smokefree policies. (See list of additional local endorsers)