Smoke-free workplace law has been a success


Submitted story

Ohio’s smoke-free workplace law was implemented in 2007.

Ohio voters approved a smoking ban in November of 2006 which prohibited smoking in public places and places of employment. Enforcement of the ban by the Ohio Department of Health became effective May of 2007.

Studies following the ban showed that the coordinated public health efforts had a positive impact on the health of the residents. Two separate studies compared heart attack data for emergency room and urgent care visit complaints (pre‐diagnosis) and hospital discharge data (post‐diagnosis) respectively.

When comparing emergency room visit data before and after the law, Ohio’s heart attack complaint rates declined by approximately 26 percent. The analysis of discharge data from Ohio hospitals also revealed a sharp decline in heart attack rates immediately following implementation of the law.

After accounting for unemployment and seasons of the year, the analysis found that the Smoke-Free Workplace Act did not have an economic effect on restaurants and bars in the state as a whole.

A study of attitudes and behaviors related to the law show that 73 percent of adult Ohioans either strongly approve or approve of the Smoke-Free Workplace Act. Approximately three out of four surveyed respondents stated they visit restaurants and bars with about the same frequency as they did before the Smoke-Free Workplace Act went into effect.

In October of 2021, the Ohio legislature passed legislation to add e-cigarettes to the law. This means e-cigarettes cannot be used at indoor public places, including businesses, restaurants, bars, etc.

If you have any questions on Smoke-Free Workplace or need assistance with quitting smoking, please call the Ohio Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or the Champaign Health District at 937-484-1605 or [email protected].

Submitted by the Champaign Health District

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