Monday, August 27, 2012

Smoke-Free Air Encouraging Healthier Wisconsin Homes, Workplaces

Today an encouraging new study was published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal showing the success of the smoke-free air law in decreasing secondhand  smoke exposure.

The study, which was conducted by University of Wisconsin Medicine and Public Health researchers,  showed that there was a significant decrease in second hand smoke exposure inside, outside, and at work.

The study also found that since the smoke-free air act went into effect in July 2010, residents have become more likely to adopt a smoke-free policy in their own homes.

This report clearly shows that because of the smoke-free air law, residents across the state are able to breathe smoke-free air at home and work. That is great news for our families and children.

It’s tremendously encouraging to see that people are such great fans of smoke-free air that they are setting smoke-free policies in their own homes.

The smoke free air law allows all workers and patrons to be protected from the well- known, cancer-causing chemicals in secondhand smoke by ensuring that all Wisconsin workplaces, including restaurants and bars, are smoke free.

Specifically, the report shows that since the Smoke-Free Air law went into place:
  • The percentage of residents exposed to smoke outside the home declined from 55% to 32%
  • The percentage of residents exposed to smoke at home declined from 13% to 7%
  • The percentage of residents with non-smoking policies in their households rose from 74% to 80%.

This study is not the only report that has shown the great success of the smoke-free air law. Previous studies and surveys have shown that the smoke-free air law has greatly increased the health of Wisconsinites, including Wisconsin’s bartenders. This report builds on the growing amount of evidence of the health benefits of the smoke-free air law and  underscores the importance of ensuring that all Wisconsin residents  are able to choose to live in smoke-free housing.

The success of smoke-free air is an important step in promoting a healthier Wisconsin. 

But much work remains. Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death in Wisconsin. Nearly 8,000 people die each year from tobacco-related illnesses, and health care costs and lost productivity total $4.5 billion a year in Wisconsin. Smoke-free air is helping to turn these statistics around and we will continue to work together to reduce the burden of tobacco and promote the health of all people in Wisconsin.  

We look forward to seeing the continued health benefits of smoke-free air for the people of Wisconsin and our future generations.

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