This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Smoking is the world's leading
preventable cause of death. In the United States, smoking rates are down from
the past, but cigarettes still cause about one-fifth of all deaths.
are also affected. Thousands in the United States die each year from heart
disease and lung cancer from breathing other people's tobacco smoke. Secondhand
smoke also causes breathing infections in young children. It can even cause sudden
death in babies.
recent years there has been a strong push for local and state governments to ban
public smoking. The American Lung Association says half of the fifty states
have passed smoke-free laws. Some measures are weaker than others. But many are
comprehensive bans -- they include restaurants and bars as well as other
and North Carolina both approved smoking bans on the same day this month. Wisconsin
passed a comprehensive ban that will take effect in July of next year.
Carolina passed a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars; it takes effect in January.
The new law may not go as far as some would like, but the action is historic. North
Carolina is America's top tobacco producing state.
proposals are being debated across the country.
argue that smoking bans cause job losses in restaurants and bars. As a
compromise, some bans exclude these establishments. But new research rejects
Klein, an assistant professor at the College of Public Health at Ohio State
University, was the lead author. She says the study was the first to compare
the economic effects of different kinds of smoking bans. She says the study
looked at restaurants and bars because research suggests that people who drink
alcohol are also more likely to smoke.
study examined employment records for eight cities in Minnesota for a
three-year period through two thousand six. These cities have differing
policies on public smoking. The study also included two cities with no such
Klein says the employment differences were so small that they could not be
considered significant. Communities with the strongest policies had nine fewer
employees per ten thousand community members than those with partial bans or
none at all.
study appears in the June issue of Prevention Science.
And that's the VOA
Special English Health Report, written by June Simms. Transcripts, MP3s and
podcasts are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.