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Possible evidence of the public health benefits of smoke-free lawsPosted Friday, January 2, 2009, at 11:21 AM
Here's some good news for advocates of restricting smoking in public places: a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that smoke-free laws may cut hospitalizations for heart attacks.
Seems like a no-brainer, right? By now the health effects of second-hand smoke are pretty well documented.
The CDC study is based on a small sample — the town of Pueblo, Colo. — but the numbers are pretty dramatic. The Peublo law is pretty simple, and much like the one enacted last year in Illinois. You can't smoke indoors in a public place, or within 20 feet of a public place.
There will surely be more research, and I'd wager more similar results uncovered.
So, with this knowledge in hand, do you support smoking restrictions? Do you think they hurt business?
My point of view is the same as the local status quo — let the business owner decide whether he or she wants a smoke-free place. Those who want a smokeless environment can go to those places where smoking is prohibited. Smokers don't have to go to smoke-free restaurants and bars if they don't want, but they can if they choose (just without smoking).
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Matt Sanders, former arts and entertainment editor and reporter and online editor for the Southeast Missourian, was appointed managing editor of the newspaper in 2012. In his blog Extra Edition, Matt seeks to carry on a conversation with readers about current local and state news topics. You can also talk with Matt on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mattksanders and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/semissourian.
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