US Smokers Increasingly Out in the Cold at Work
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - US government efforts to limit public smoking are paying dividends in the workplace, researchers report this week. The latest survey results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the proportion of
Researchers from the CDC conducted a telephone survey of adults in 17 states and the District of Columbia, questioning about smoking rates and workplace smoking policy. The rate of respondents who reported a smoke-free work environment ranged from 61.3% in Mississippi, to 82% in DC, with its high proportion of government offices.
``One of the important things that we are seeing is that workplaces are restricting smoking,'' according to Dr. Linda Pederson, with the CDC. ``I think that is really important because the non-smokers are not being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace and that's a good thing.''
A survey of 50 states and Puerto Rico also found that the percentage of adults who said they smoked ranged from a low of 13.9% in Utah to a high of 31.5% in Nevada. States with the highest percentage of smokers were Nevada, Kentucky, and Ohio and those with the lowest were Utah, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.
``The figures have remained fairly stable all through the nineties -- although there may have been a slight shifting in terms of which states have the highest rates,'' Pederson told Reuters Health.
Overall women reported that they smoked less than men--20.9% of women said they smoked, compared with 24.2% of men and the percent of all smokers decreased slightly from 24.1% in 1998, to 22.7% in 1999.