Data from the CDC shows that more than half of Americans live in states with laws protecting them from secondhand smoke but none of these are in the southeastern United States.
A decade after the Surgeon General released a report highlighting the health dangers of secondhand smoke exposure, no single state in the Southeast has passed comprehensive statewide smoke free laws banning smoking in all indoor, private-sector workplaces, restaurants and bars.
Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia had the laws in 2015, compared to none in the year 2000. But just two states – North Dakota and California – have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws over the last six years, suggesting that adoption of such laws has stalled.
Among the 24 states without comprehensive smoke-free laws, five (Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, and North Carolina) prohibit smoking in two of the three venues, while six states (Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming) have no statewide smoking restrictions at all.