One Year After Start of Smoke-Free Law, Coloradoans Laud Their IAQ

A recent study in Colorado by the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership found that air pollution in hospitality venues has improved by nearly 70 percent since enactment of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act a year ago. The most dramatic improvement, the partnership said, was seen in bars and taverns, where air quality improved by nearly 90 percent. Overall, air quality in bars, taverns, and restaurants all changed from an EPA rating of "unhealthy" to "good," meaning that the air in these locations now poses little or no health risk.

"One year after the smoke-free law went into effect, Coloradoans and visitors alike have benefited from healthier indoor environments," said Dr. Ned Calonge, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We encourage everyone to continue supporting hospitality venues around the state to show their appreciation for businesses' commitment to public health."

In 2007, the Colorado legislature passed two bills concerning the smoke-free law. The first created an exemption for assisted living facilities so they can allow smoking in designated areas that are fully enclosed, ventilated and accessible only to residents and their guests. This change goes into effect on Aug. 3, 2007. The second bill rescinded the casino exemption that was included in the initial smoke-free law. As of Jan. 1, 2008, all state-licensed casinos in Colorado will be required to be smoke-free.

Colorado was the 13th state to implement a smoke-free law. Now that additional states including Arizona, Nevada and Ohio have passed smoke-free initiatives, one in two Americans lives in a place with smoke-free workplaces.

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