May 10, 2011
Southern states lag in adopting smoking ban laws according to a government report.
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than half of states have enacted smoking bans in private workplaces, restaurants and bars in the past decade.
Seven states, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming, have no laws banning smoking in any of these places.
Only three, Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina, have laws banning smoking in at least the workplace, restaurants or bars.
No southern state has a smoke-free law covering all three areas.
The CDC says that leaves about 88,000,000 nonsmokers still exposed to secondhand smoke.
As of December of last year, 26 of 50 U.S. states had smoke-free laws covering nearly half of all U.S. residents.
Researchers say if trends continue the nation could be 100% smoke-free by 2020.
The complete study appears in the latest issue of the CDC's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. "